Sea Snakes, Ang Thong, Gulf of Siam, Thailand: photo by Steve Jurvetson, 27 December 2007
Beyond the shadow of the ship
..I watch'd the water-snakes:
They mov'd in tracks of shining white;
And when they rear'd, the elfish light
..Fell off in hoary flakes.
Within the shadow of the ship
..I watch'd their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black
They coil'd and swam; and every track
..Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things! no tongue
..Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gusht from my heart,
..And I bless'd them unaware!
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
..And I bless'd them unaware.
Yellow-bellied Sea Snake (Pelamis platurus): photo by Heather E. Harlow, 14 January 2011
Yellow-bellied Sea Snake (Pelamis platurus): photo by Eugene van der Pijil, 10 September, 2006; image by Ilmari Karonen, 24 October 2007 (USGS/US Dept. of Interior)
Yellow-lipped Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrina), Wakatobi, Indonesia: photo by Craig D, 9 September 2009
Sea Snake, Guindulman, Central Visayas, Philippines: photo by tim2k, 14 June 2006
Blue-lipped Sea Krait (Laticauda laticaudata), Anemone Reef, Thailand: photo by Jon Hanson, 29 November 2005
Banded Sea Snake, Tingloy, Mariacaban Island, Philippines: photo by Raymonddy, 3 August 2007
Olive Sea Snake (Aipysurus laevis). Lighthouse, Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef: photo by Richard Ling, 17 December 2006
From The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, in Seven Parts (Part IV, ll. 272-287): Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1797-1798; first published anonymously in Lyrical Ballads (original ed. 1798), with text as here given containing deliberate archaisms of spelling and syntax, intended by the author to allow the poem to be received as a work of unknown age, discovered in manuscript