illustration of the Ancient Mariner in the ocean with an albatross tied around his neck

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," what penance does the mariner still have to do?

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The mariner must travel from land to land and teach others, by using his own story as an example, to love and respect everything God has made. At the end, he tells the wedding guest,

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us
He made and loveth all.
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.

The mariner leaves a great impact on the wedding guest with his story. He's successful because when the wedding guest wakes the next morning, he's wiser as well as sadder for having heard the mariner's story.

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