The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
How we cite our quotes:
'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?
By him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless albatross.
The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.'
The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honeydew:
Quoth he, 'The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.' (V.90-92)
The two voices play a kind of good cop/bad cop routine. The bad cop is like, "Is this the guy who thought the innocent albatross wasn't worth a second thought? Lemme at him!" And the good cop holds him back, saying, "He'll be able to earn forgiveness – as long as he plays ball and does the penance we require. You'll play ball, right, Mariner?" It's Law and Order, Coleridge-style.
Oh sweeter than the marriage feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company! –
To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends
And youths and maidens gay!
Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou wedding-guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast. (VII.138-40)
The Mariner has abandoned his prideful ways, and now he just wants to be a member of the community and, especially, to pray a lot. The guy loves his prayers. However, does Coleridge divert from traditional Christian doctrine when he suggests that people and animals deserve the same love? Maybe avoiding pride means avoiding species pride, as well.