The Will O' The Wisp

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THE Will-o'-the-Wisp is out on the marsh,
And all alone he goes;
There's not a sight of his glimmering light
From break of day to close;
But all night long, from dusk till dawn,
He drifts where the night wind blows.

The Will-o'-the-Wisp, he has no roof,
Yet he seeks not hut nor hall;
He will not wait for a friendly foot,
But starts if a shadow fall;
And never a voice can make him turn,
But the far off winds that call.

The twilight covers the dreaming hills,
The evening dews begin;
There's none to care that he wanders there,
There's none to call him in;
And all the night, with his lonely light,
He goes where the mists have been.

From firelit window and open doors,
The roads have golden bars;
And round and round the world is bound
By a girdle of radiant stars;
But I watch to-night for a fleeting light
That a moment makes or mars.

Flit, flit, with the hurrying hours,
In shadow and mist and dew
Will-o'-the-Wisp, O Will-o'-the-Wisp,
I would I could follow you,
With your elfin light for a lantern bright
The bogs and the marshes through !

O Will-o'-the-Wisp, in silver dusk
Who'd wish for golden dawn?
In purple night, with stars a-light,
Who'd dream of noontide gone?
Who would not stray by the glimmering way
Your wandering feet are drawn ?

The dawn comes over the silent hills,
And calls to the winds of morn;
The stars grow pale, and the sun cries, 'Hail!'
To the shadowy fields forlorn;
And good-bye, good-bye, to the Will-o'-the-Wisp,
Who dies when the day is born!

© Annie Campbell Huestis