Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WILL O' THE WISP, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN



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WILL O' THE WISP, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: From choked morass I leap and run
Last Line: Content in swamps despised to dwell!
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): England; Landscape; English


FROM choked morass I leap and run
As free as heaven's stars or sun,
And when the fisher gets him home
About his lair I nimbly roam,
Unthreatened by his envious eye
That wishes water-folk to die,
And then like darting dace I go
Soaring, swerving, high and low.

The wind though scarce a ghostly stir
Bears my small torch, that some aver
Is but a vapour's fevered sheen
Or lanterned fly like him in green
Whose light now glistens on the road
As mewling cat-owls wheel abroad;
But those who've seen me, make reply
"Nor marish-breath nor lanterned fly."

And this my holiday I will take
Though churls and fools rush in my wake
And like a thistle's down would seize
A God that takes his evening ease!
So Hodge and Ha' pence lured askance
See me past further sagbeds dance,
And squashing where the black streams crawl
Are left with working mire to brawl.

On ashy clouds if I've a mind
I hover over human kind
And fling my summer lightnings till
The heartiest drunkard's tongue is still;
I, with the bright-haired comets kin,
Baited for a harlequin,
I, spirit fire that none can quell,
Content in swamps despised to dwell!





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