The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a classic ballad that signified the move of British literature and poetry towards romance. It is the longest major poem in English and was written by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798. The poem tells the story of a mariner who has returned from a very eventful and long drawn voyage. On his way to a wedding, the sailor stops a random man and starts to recount his experience from the beginning to the man. The wedding guest is reluctant at first but once the sailor’s story proves to be captivating, the wedding guest listens intently.
The sailor’s story concerns an albatross. While on their voyage, the sailor and his crew are helped by an albatross that guides them to safety through the dangerous path of the sea. The mariner then kills the helpless bird and his crewmates become furious, hanging the dead albatross around his neck as a sign of shame. They believe that this deed of the mariner has brought about a curse on the vessel. What follows is an unfortunate set of events that results in everyone but the mariner dying. The mariner is then rescued and is bound to wander forever recounting his unpleasant experience to others.