The First Voice and Second Voice briefly continue their conversation, explaining that the moon and sea are working together to navigate and transport the ship. They then fly away, indicating that the ship will slow again once the Mariner awakens from his trance.
Again, we see influences (moon, sea, the Spirit) working together under a divine plan to aid in the Mariner’s journey and penance.
Upon their departure, the Mariner wakes under the moonlit sky beside the dead Sailors. For a moment, his penance and the dead-eyed curse returns, and the Mariner becomes unable to pray. But just as soon as it returns, the spell is broken again. Thoughtfully, the Mariner observes nature and the sea as a fair breeze begins to blow.
As indicated by the voices, the Mariner must face more penance and horrors. Again, he loses his ability to pray and communicate with God. This curse and lapse of communication is healed once more through the eyes and an observation of nature’s beauty.
This breeze moves the ship swiftly and sweetly, until the Mariner cries out with joy: he has been brought home to his native land. At this sight he weeps and prays to God that he isn’t dreaming and truly has returned home. Still in moonlight, and now in the beautiful familiarity of his home bay, the Mariner sees the angels leaving the souls of the dead Sailors for good. Rather than singing, he notes that the angels simply wave and offer a profound, meaningful silence, a type of music in its own right.
After the Mariner’s dream and strange fit, it makes sense that in the joyous sight of his homeland, he prays to God that it’s really happening. The end of the supernatural possession of the Sailors makes way for a divine experience. When the angels leave the bodies we can note that instead of singing in a choir as they have before, here they communicate only visually, as a spectacle.
But this silent music is broken by the sound of oars, as the Mariner hears and then sees a small boat carrying a Pilot, a Pilot’s Boy, and a Hermit. The Mariner determines the Hermit to be a man of God, and decides that the Hermit will be able to absolve him of his sin, “shrieve” (free from guilt) his soul, and wash away the Albatross’s blood.
Just as cracking ice and the entry of the Albatross breaks the sublime, pristine quiet of the South Pole, oars disrupt the silent angel music—a sign that there is still pressure on the Mariner to survive, to struggle, and to absolve himself of his crime.