BETA

An elfin figure sits in a tree and holds a lantern. There is a long piece of cloth loosely wrapped around the figure’s nude body. A large bird perches on a branch of the tree with its wings spread wide and beak open. Under the bird’s wing are the title, “Will o’ The Wisp,” and in a banner below the title, “Illustrated by May Bowley.” Below the banner is a page-length illustration of a curled piece of parchment that contains the poem.

Will o’ the Wisp

Ho ! Ho !  Two friends are we !1
The white owl hoots from the hollow tree ;2
The bats are wheeling in elfin flight,3
The moon has forgotten to show her light.4
Will-o’-the-Wisp, thou tricksy sprite,5
Now is the time for you and me.6
Hark !7
Through the dark8
And the midnight cold,9
I have flown from far o’er the desolate wold,10
For I marked a traveller, lost and lone,11
Plodding his way by Dead Man’s Stone,—12
Where the foot sinks deep13
In the marshy bed,14
And the mountain sheep15
Is afraid to tread,—16
You can guide him well,17
You must go before,18
For you know the spell19
Of all goblin lore ;20
He will follow you fast21
Wherever you roam,22
Ere the night is past23
You shall bring him home !24
Ho ! Ho ! —Hurrah for the fog !25
Hurrah for the mist and the black peat-bog !26
Down with the winds that would sweep away27
The clouds that gather at close of day ;28
Down with the winds and their rough wild grace,29
For they tear the veil from our secret place.30
The second half of the poem is contained within an illustration of torn, curling parchment. There is an illustration of three Grecian-like sprites on the right side of the page, adjacent to the poem. Two of the sprites, the South wind and West wind, stand in a small body of water among reeds and cat-tails. Another sprite, the Wind of Dawn, flies in clouds above the other two. 1/2 page.
Where the slimy waters creep and crawl, there is the scene of our banquet hall ;31
Where the slimy waters crawl and creep, there is our chamber where guests may sleep.32
They sleep so sound, and they sleep so fast, they never waken when night is past.—33
Ha !  Will-o’-the-Wisp, laugh out with glee, light your lamp, and be off o’er moor and lea,34
I will wait for you here, on the old ash-tree ; Ha !  This is the hour for you and me ! ”35
But the winds of the night36
Heard the raven’s shrill voice,—37
All the spirits of light38
Who in beauty rejoice,—39
And swift was their flight40
From the stars where they dwell,41
And the musical might42
Of their wings, who shall tell ?43
The Wind of the North44
Swept over the track,45
And the moonbeams came forth46
And the shadows fell back ;47
The South wind, and West,48
With flower-crowned hair,49
Warned the wandering guest50
From the marsh-pool’s despair.51
And the Wind of the Dawn52
Kept watch for
the sun,
53
When the dark-
ness was gone
54
All their task would
be done.
55
Ah, yonder a gleam !
There is gold in the
sky !
56
Now, Will-o’-the-Wisp,
and Sir Raven, good-
bye !
57
Do your best,—do your
worst,—we can laugh
you to scorn,
58
Ye are nothing but
dreams that must die
with the morn.
59