by Agnes K. Gibbs

Will O' The Wisp, a-shine o'er the grasses,
Down where the meadow brook steals away,
Over the tussocks and drear morasses,
Forever I follow your witching ray.

Will o' the Wisp in the starlight gleaming,
Are you indeed but a tricksy elf?
Say! is your loveliness all in seeming?
Would I might touch you, and know for myself!

In the lonely night, through the ghostly hollow,
Over the marshes, wide and wan,
The phantom glow of your lamp I follow;
Flitting before me, you beckon me on.

Will, you have cheated me, oft and sadly,
Seeming to shine in my very face;
I reach my fingers to clasp you gladly;
They close on nothing but empty space!

And farther on—just a little farther,
Your taunting glimmer again I see;
I follow and reach for it, only to gather
Another handful of mockery.

Elusive Will! Shall I reach you never?
Is all my hungering search in vain?
Must I go wandering on forever,
Empty-handed except for pain?

Will o' the Wisp, there are those about me,
Who cry that I point to a light untrue;
When I'm most earnest, they scorn and doubt me;
Pity my quest, and laugh at you!

Will o' the Wisp, though you be unreal,
I'll follow you on, till at last I fall;
Better to cherish a mock ideal,
Than never to care for a light at all!

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