The Rime of The Ancyent Marinere was first published in 1798 as part of a joint collection of poems by William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1722-1834) entitled “Lyrical Ballads, with a few other poems.” A revised version was published in 1817, with several amendments and also including a gloss. The version reproduced in this volume is the original one. The collection comprised 19 poems by Wordsworth and (in addition to the Rime) a further three by Coleridge which are all included in the present volume: The Foster-Mother’s Tale; The Dungeon and The Nightingale.
Also included is Coleridge’s other celebrated poem, Kubla Khan, purportedly written under the influence of opium, to which Coleridge (like his friend Thomas de Quincey) eventually became addicted. The poem was written in 1798, around the same time as the other poems in this selection, but was not published until 1816.
Christabel, another long narrative ballad, was also reportedly written during the same period, from 1797 to 1780 and, like Kubla Khan, publication was delayed until 1816, when the two poems were published in a pamphlet together with The Pains of Sleep (written in 1803).