Could I have an explanation of Stanza 13 of the "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", and and explanation of metaphor included?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Stanzas are numbered slightly differently in different editions of the poem, but I am going to assume you are talking about the lines,

"With sloping masts and dipping prow, (44)

As who pursued with yell and blow,

Still treads the shadow of his foe

And forward bends his head,

The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,

And southward aye we fled.

And now there came both mist and snow, (50)

And it grew wondrous cold:

And ice, mast high, came floating by,

As green as emerald".

The passage is describing the ship as the winds blow it swiftly to the south.  The metaphor in lines 44 to 47 compare the ship to a fugitive running desperately before his "foe", "bending his head" forward for maximum speed as he surges ahead with the sound of his yelling, striking enemy close on his heels.  As he flees to the south, in lines 50-53 the landscape changes, and the area becomes frigid, "wondrous cold", with "mist and snow" and "ice, mast high".  The ice is described in a simile as being "green as emerald", and the lines indicate that the ship has journeyed all the way to the South Pole, from its starting point north of the equator.

teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a frightening part of the poem, in which the ship is blown far south by a powerful wind that "loud roared." The crew had been at the warm equator but now they are in a misty, snowy place, where "it grew wondrous cold." They see "ice, mast high" floating by: these are icebergs. Soon the ship will be trapped within the icebergs, unable to move, and the crew will believe they are doomed to die.

This event might have taught the Mariner a lesson about the power of God and taught him, therefore, to respect all of God's creation. It might have taught him to understand the arrival of the albatross as a gift of God's providence. If he had thought about the fearsome divine power that had the ability to drive the ship so far off course, he might have thought twice before killing the albatross—but, of course, he had not learned that lesson yet.