A ship is driven south by a storm to Antarctic waters. An albatross appears and leads them to safety. However the Mariner kills the albatross. As the whether calms and warms the sailors are happy until the wind stops.
"Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean."
The crew hang the albatross around the mariners neck to show the burden he carries for this.
Ah! Well a-day! What evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the albatross
About my neck was hung.
The poem goes on as the death and despair visit the ship, but the mariner is spared. When he prays the bird falls from his neck, but the burden new leaves him, he walks the earth telling his tale.
This design has a black and white albatross flying with a human skull around it's neck.
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