The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere) is the longest major poem by English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written between 1797 and 1798. It was published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 that features a glossary to explain archaic words and phrases. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal shift to modern poetry and the beginning of British Romantic literature.
The poem narrates an eerie, supernatural tale of ship lost at sea, and the Mariner who shoots an albatross that had guided the ship out of Antarctica. When the death of the albatross brings more misfortune to the ship and its crew, the sailors force the Mariner to wear the albatross around his neck in expiation of his crime. The Mariner wanders the world, telling his sad story of loss and the death of his crew.
English poet, literary critic and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834), with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the 'suspension of disbelief.' He was a major influence, via Emerson, on American transcendentalism..
The illustrations for this edition were done by Edward Adrian Wilson (1872-1912), notable English polar explorer, physician, naturalist, painter and ornithologist.