"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Parts V-VII

This seven-part poem tells the story of a sailor who brings a curse on his ship after killing an albatross, a giant sea bird considered to be a good omen. Read the text here, and learn vocabulary from parts I-IV here.

Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. sere
    having lost all moisture
    And soon I heard a roaring wind:
    It did not come anear;
    But with its sound it shook the sails,
    That were so thin and sere.
  2. cleave
    separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument
    The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
    The Moon was at its side
  3. ghastly
    shockingly repellent; inspiring horror
    They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—
    We were a ghastly crew.
  4. discern
    detect with the senses
    But ere my living life returned,
    I heard and in my soul discerned
    Two voices in the air.
  5. penance
    voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for something
    Quoth he, 'The man hath penance done,
    And penance more will do.'
  6. abate
    become less in amount or intensity
    For slow and slow that ship will go,
    When the Mariner's trance is abated.
  7. bar
    a submerged ridge in a river or along a shore
    We drifted o'er the harbour- bar,
    And I with sobs did pray
  8. strew
    be dispersed over
    The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
    So smoothly it was strewn!
  9. seraph
    an angel of the first order
    This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
    It was a heavenly sight!
  10. impart
    transmit or serve as the medium for transmission
    This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
    No voice did they impart
  11. skiff
    a small boat propelled by oars or by sails or by a motor
    The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk,
    'Why, this is strange, I trow!
    Where are those lights so many and fair,
    That signal made but now?'
  12. smite
    inflict a heavy blow on, with the hand, a tool, or a weapon
    Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
    Which sky and ocean smote,
    Like one that hath been seven days drowned
    My body lay afloat;
    But swift as dreams, myself I found
    Within the Pilot's boat.
  13. wrench
    twist or pull violently or suddenly
    Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
    With a woful agony
  14. hark
    listen; used mostly in the imperative
    And hark the little vesper bell,
    Which biddeth me to prayer!

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