by Eden Phillpotts

Where the dim marrish oozes out and fills
The lap of the hills,
While drowsy gloom broods deep upon the wold,
They keep their place and take their trembling flight
And fringe the night
With pallid flowers of azure and faint gold.

Along the darkness elfin lanterns flicker,
Now slow, now quicker—
A pale corona set upon the mire.
They float and fly and leap and sink together
Upon one tether,
Where ancient fens excern their lambent fire.

Thin, shaking, blue—spectres of flame—they travel
And break and ravel,
Then fade and flash again and fade again.
They wave their lamps upon the quag; they quiver
And soar and shiver
And flit, like little ghosts, above the plain.

Born from the heavy breath of sleeping Earth,
In feeble mirth
They trail and slink and linger, rise and fall;
Then, shuddering before the chill of day,
Soon speed away,
Blow out their lights and vanish, one and all.

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