An old grey bearded Mariner with hypotonic, bright eyes stopped a wedding guest, who along with his two companions, was going to attend a wedding. The wedding guest said that he was a close relative of the bridegroom and that he had to go as the feast was ready. The ancient mariner held the young man by his arm, but he (the young man) objected to it angrily calling him an old mad man. The old sailor held him by the power of his hypnotising eyes and the wedding guest had no choice, but to listen to him like a small child.
The ancient mariner narrated his story that when he was a sailor, their ship sailed southwards on a bright sunny day. It reached the equator where the sun was directly overhead at noon. At this point, the wedding guest heard the loud music of the bassoon and was frustrated. He visualized that the bride must have entered the hall as beautiful as a rose and merry singing will be around to welcome the bride. The wedding guest stood helpless and annoyed as he had to listen to the mariner’s story.
The ancient mariner continued his story stating that a dreadful storm struck his ship, pushed it at high speed towards the south direction. The storm was like a hunter chasing its prey (the ship) following it closely. The ship was moving fast making lot of noises as if it was followed by an enemy. The ship reached a place where there was lot of mist and snow. It was extremely cold as both mist and snow surrounded the ship. The ice was flowing as high as the ship looking like as green as emerald. The snow cliffs created a very sad looking shine, as there was no life around. The ice cracked, growled, howled and roared as it moved heavily, holding the ship at one place.
The crew of the ship was disturbed with the cold weather, but it was a great relief for them when they were eventually greeted by the arrival of an albatross which came through the fog. It was welcomed by the sailors. As it flew around the ship for food and play, the ice cracked and split. A good south wind propelled the ship out of the icy region into the sea. The albatross followed the ship everyday but at one point the ancient mariner in a fit of anger shot dead the innocent bird with his crossbow. He confessed this to the wedding guest.
The south wind continued to propel the ship northwards. The sailor soon realised that he had done a hellish thing by killing the bird that had brought the change in the breeze. But when the glorious sun rose after days of mist and snow, they all agreed that he had done a right thing to kill the bird that had earlier brought the fog and the mist. The ship sailed on until the winds brought it to a silent sea. Suddenly the winds died down and they were once again stranded in the middle of the sea.
When the breeze stopped to blow, the sails dropped and the ship was becalmed. It was so quiet that the sailors spoke only to break the silence. All day long the red sun shone in the hot sky. Day after day for many days there was no breeze and the ship remained still motionless like a painting. The crew had no water to drink in spite of the vast sea around them. Even the boards of the ship began to shrink.
The condition of the crew was pathetic as the sea looked terrible. Soon the bright and slimy creatures crawled out of it and walked on the surface. At night, the water looked like oil and it changes its colours. The sailors had no peace even in their ship and were constantly haunted by the presence of the dead Albatross’s spirit. Day after day, they had no water to drink, their tongues dried up and they were unable to even speak. The sailors held the mariner responsible for their woes and as a constant reminder of killing an innocent bird, the sailors hung the dead albatross around his neck.