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Wisp   Listen
noun
Wisp  n.  
1.
A small bundle, as of straw or other like substance. "In a small basket, on a wisp of hay."
2.
A whisk, or small broom.
3.
A Will-o'-the-wisp; an ignis fatuus. "The wisp that flickers where no foot can tread."






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Wisp" Quotes from Famous Books



... hundred times as you are borne through Canton's streets your chair escapes by only a few feet or inches rows of cooked ducks and pigs that seem to have been finally varnished to make them appeal to the native epicure. Here and there you observe strange hunks of meat held together by a wisp of straw that your guide tells you with immobile countenance are rat hams, and in sundry shops your ready eye thereafter detects tiny dried carcasses that can only be rats. Let it be said in fairness ...
— East of Suez - Ceylon, India, China and Japan • Frederic Courtland Penfield

... town of Fossato, and a wide expanse of water, and Vesuvius, and the distant outline of Naples all spread in a panorama before them, besides having an excellent bird's-eye prospect of the garden below. Peachy, who was ready to do anything wild, went dancing about like a will-o'-the-wisp. ...
— The Jolliest School of All • Angela Brazil

... mountain stream and looked down from my ten years of height on the little girl in a patched blue frock. Nature had coiffed her hair that day and tumbled it over her shoulders in wanton brightness, but she had caught the crowning wisp of it in a faded blue ribbon which bobbed majestically with every movement of her head. Had some woodland Mr. Pound told her that I was coming? Since then I have seen her more daintily shod than ...
— David Malcolm • Nelson Lloyd

... noble guest? Come, sir, excuse my freedom. I am an old host, and must have my talk. This peevish humour of melancholy sits ill upon you; it suits not with a sleek boot, a hat of trim block, a fresh cloak, and a full purse. A pize on it! send it off to those who have their legs swathed with a hay-wisp, their heads thatched with a felt bonnet, their jerkin as thin as a cobweb, and their pouch without ever a cross to keep the fiend Melancholy from dancing in it. Cheer up, sir! or, by this good liquor, we shall banish thee from the joys of blithesome company, into the mists of melancholy and the ...
— Kenilworth • Sir Walter Scott

... and wring them, Yenadizze! Go and dry them in the sunshine!" Slowly, from the ashes, Kwasind Rose, but made no angry answer; From the lodge went forth in silence, Took the nets, that hung together, Dripping, freezing at the doorway; Like a wisp of straw he wrung them, Like a wisp of straw he broke them, Could not wring them without breaking, Such the strength was in his fingers. "Lazy Kwasind!" said his father, "In the hunt you never help me; Every bow you touch is broken, Snapped asunder every arrow; Yet come with me to the forest, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... into one dense death, Thence to be kindled into fire, reborn, And scattered abroad once more in a delicate spray Faint as the mist by one bright dewdrop breathed At dawn, and yet a universe like our own; Each wisp a universe, a vast galaxy Wide as our night of stars. The Milky Way In which our sun is drowned, to these would seem Less than to us their faintest drift of haze; Yet we, who are borne on one dark grain of dust Around one indistinguishable spark Of star-mist, lost in one lost feather ...
— Watchers of the Sky • Alfred Noyes

... desultory road which Merle, who had some old acquaintances amongst the ancient profession of hawkers, had advised Waife to take. But Merle, unhappily confiding more in his crystal than Waife's steady adherence to the chart prescribed, led the Oxford scholar the life of a will-of-the-wisp; zigzag, and shooting to and fro, here and there, till, just when George had lost all patience, Merle chanced to see, not in the crystal, a pelerine on the neck of a farmer's daughter, which he was morally certain he had himself ...
— What Will He Do With It, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... conclude that there is no such thing as Causality, that in searching for a cause of everything that happens, we are pursuing a mere will o' the wisp, using a mere vox nihili which has {36} as little meaning for the reflecting mind as fate or fortune? Surely, in the very act of making the distinction between succession and causality, in the very act of denying that we can discover any causal connexion ...
— Philosophy and Religion - Six Lectures Delivered at Cambridge • Hastings Rashdall

... so that Perion might see his face, and Perion perceived that, by some wonder-working, the person in man's attire who held this light aloft was Melicent. It was odd that Perion always remembered afterward most clearly of all the loosened wisp of hair the wind ...
— Domnei • James Branch Cabell et al

... 398 In Scotland, a wisp of straw upon a pole, is or was some years ago the indication of an alehouse; and to this day a ship or vessel for sale may be discovered by a birch broom at the mast head. I remember reading, that in Fleet ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... readers will regard that varry gooid advice, when they see th' grass cut—"Mak hay woll th 'sun shines." There's nowt aw like better nor to spend a day or two in a hay field. Tawk abaat "Ho de Colong!" It doesn't smell hauf as weel to me as a wisp o' new made hay. An' them 'at niver knew th' luxury a' gooin' to bed wi' tired booans, should work i'th' hay-field for a wick. It'll do onnybody gooid; an' if some o' them idle laewts 'at stand bi a duzzen together at th' loin ends laikin at pitch an' toss, wod goa an' work at pitch an' ...
— Yorkshire Ditties, First Series - To Which Is Added The Cream Of Wit And Humour From His Popular Writings • John Hartley

... his donkey, after taking off her caparisons, and I followed his example, tying my horse at the other side with a rope halter which he gave me; he then asked me to come in and taste his mead, but I told him that I must attend to the comfort of my horse first, and forthwith, taking a wisp of straw, rubbed him carefully down. Then taking a pailful of clear water which stood in the shed, I allowed the horse to drink about half a pint; and then turning to the old man, who all the time had stood by looking at my proceedings, I asked ...
— The Pocket George Borrow • George Borrow

... distance, too—for mile after mile of the ride to the city. Not so far ahead, however, that he could not observe every movement of her light, graceful figure as she swept down the King's Highway. She was a perfect horsewoman, firm, jaunty, free. Somehow he knew, without seeing, that a stray brown wisp of hair caressed her face with insistent adoration: he could see her hand go up from time to time to brush it back—just as if it were not a happy place for a wisp of hair. Perhaps—he shivered with the thought of it—perhaps ...
— Truxton King - A Story of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... after the girl went to prison, the fisherman was going home one night along the shore toward the village with some nets on his back. He was of a callous nature, and did not hesitate to take the shortest way across the meadow; but when he got in among the dunes, he saw a will-o'-the-wisp following in his steps, grew frightened, and began to run. It began to gain upon him, and when he leaped across the brook to put water between himself and the spirit, it seized hold of the nets. At this he shouted the name of God, and fled like one bereft of his senses. ...
— Pelle the Conqueror, Complete • Martin Andersen Nexo

... of all happened: the forest faded away into its own shadowy distances, and in its place was a noisy, crowded, sun-baked street, and across the street was eagerly hurrying an anxious little girl, a frail little wisp of a girl who probably should not be crossing hot, noisy streets at all—then a light in tired eyes, a smile upon a worn face, relief as from a cooling breeze—and anyway, suddenly furious ...
— Lifted Masks - Stories • Susan Glaspell

... Mattia had gone behind her and pulled a long wisp of hair from her tail and the animal had given him a kick. That ...
— Nobody's Boy - Sans Famille • Hector Malot

... lowered the board, and kneeling, stroked the hen, and talked softly to her. She slipped a hand under the hen, and lifted her to see the eggs. Dannie staring at Mary noted closer the fresh, cleared skin, the glossy hair, the delicately colored cheeks, and the plumpness of the bare arms. One little wisp of curl lay against the curve of her neck, just where it showed rose-pink, and looked honey sweet. And in one great surge, the repressed stream of passion in the strong man broke, and Dannie swayed against his horse. ...
— At the Foot of the Rainbow • Gene Stratton-Porter

... that she was led astray by a will-o'-the-wisp, which has often misled artists not of the very first class—the chance of an easy contrast. The light-hearted, light-minded Erfeuil was to set off the tense and serious Nelvil—a type again, as he was evidently intended to be, but a somewhat new type of Englishman. She was a devotee ...
— A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2 - To the Close of the 19th Century • George Saintsbury

... died away and the couples moved off among the privet-lined paths, I went slowly down the terrace. Dorothy had come up to speak to her mother, Dr. Courtenay lingering impatient at her side. And though her colour glowed deeper, and the wind had loosed a wisp of her hair, she took his Excellency's compliments undisturbed. Colonel Sharpe, our former governor, who now made his home in the province, sat ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... poor idol who call themselves my 'adorers'? I need only detain wandering pilgrims, or invite minnesingers to the castle, to shorten the hours. And he for whom yonder child-angel's heart yearns—would he not be a fool to prefer a Will-o'-the-wisp like me? Besides, it is easy for the peasant to give his neighbour the cloud which hangs over his field. True, before the dance——But the past is past. Boemund Altrosen is the only person who is always the same. One can rely upon him, but I really need ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... not marry her daughter to the brigadier of gendarmes (sale voyou!), who would otherwise have left her lamenting? Was he not the most wonderful of God's creatures?—Mme. Bidoux, although not quite appreciating Aristide's quixotic delicacy, took the forlorn and fragile wisp of misery to her capacious bosom. She made her free of the cabbages and charcoal. She provided her, at a risible charge, with succulent meals. She told her tales of her father and mother, of her neighbours, of the domestic differences between the concierge and his wife ...
— The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol • William J. Locke

... band of brown flesh showed frankly between it and the top of the wide, bloomer-like garment on the nether limbs. They also wore their hair in a knot at the back of the head, with a long, straight wisp hanging out of the coil, and in most instances were much less attractive than the men, being quite as unprepossessing in appearance, and lacking the redeeming strength and symmetry which gave beauty to ...
— A Woman's Journey through the Philippines - On a Cable Ship that Linked Together the Strange Lands Seen En Route • Florence Kimball Russel

... specters. Memory will become a place of torment and a ghastly chamber of horrors. We shall be the children of despondency and wretchedness. Memory will be a graveyard; the past will give no light save the "will-o-the-wisp" light from putrescence and decay. All the springs of joy will be poisoned by morbid griefs that keep open old wounds. The city hath its offal heap where refuse matter is destroyed; each home its garret, the contents cast out at regular intervals; the individual throws away his old clothes, ...
— The Investment of Influence - A Study of Social Sympathy and Service • Newell Dwight Hillis

... buildings, and rushed again to the door to find it locked. In sheer despair she made for the window, threw open the casement, and ere Sir Hugh could seize or stop her flung herself headlong into the court below. When the horrified husband looked down into the darkness, a wisp of white garments, a bruised and lifeless body, was all that remained of ...
— Kate Coventry - An Autobiography • G. J. Whyte-Melville

... Suddenly will-o'-the-wisp opportunity flickered before him, and in his high mood he paused not at all to consider it, but insanely chased it. He had just reached a crossing, and down the cross street, walking away from Noble, was the dim figure of a man carrying an umbrella. It was just perceptible ...
— Gentle Julia • Booth Tarkington

... eyes upward to the softening terrors of the sky. A star, a solitary star-broke out for one moment, as if to smile comfort upon him, and then vanished. But lo! in the distance there suddenly gleamed a red, steady light, like that in some solitary window; it was no will-o'-the-wisp, it was too stationary—human shelter was then nearer than he had thought for. He pointed to the light, and whispered, "Rouse yourself, one struggle more—it ...
— Night and Morning, Volume 2 • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... in the low-growing grain, many eyes of the Sammies turned in the direction of the red mill. It was a French one, of picturesque construction. And as Jimmy and his chums looked they saw a little wisp of smoke come from one of the windows. Then came another staccato discharge, but this time with less ...
— The Khaki Boys Over the Top - Doing and Daring for Uncle Sam • Gordon Bates

... one join hands in a circle. The odd player in the center runs around on the inside of the circle and hits one of the players with a wisp of grass, if the game be played out of doors, or tags him if played indoors. Both players then run out of the circle, it being the object of the player who was tagged to catch the odd player before he can run three times around the outside of the ring. As the runner completes his third time around, ...
— Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium • Jessie H. Bancroft

... and, if the fire is permanently kindled, the pinch of smoldering dust is inserted in a wisp of dry grass or other easily inflammable material; in a minute or two flames burst forth, and the fire may be ...
— The Bontoc Igorot • Albert Ernest Jenks

... use 4 lemons. Peel four oranges and boil the peel until you can run a wisp through it. Peel the others and divide all into sections; remove the seeds and stringy parts, and cut into small pieces. Grate the yellow rind of 2 of the lemons and squeeze the juice of all, which add to the orange pulp. When the orange peel is tender, remove the white part with a sharp knife, ...
— The Cookery Blue Book • Society for Christian Work of the First Unitarian Church, San

... before the wind (such as is constantly seen on moors); a circumstance which recalls to mind the Pyrenean legend of the spirit of the Lord of Orthez, mentioned by Miss Costello, which appeared as two straws moving on the floor. Query, Has the name of "Will o' the Wisp" any connexion with the supposed habit ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 54, November 9, 1850 • Various

... the canoe free. He succeeded in doing this, but not as he expected, for his weight and the weight of the water as it swept along crumpled up the canoe and suddenly he found himself rushing down the rapids just like a wisp of straw on a miniature stream such as little boys sometimes make in the gutters. All at once he felt Bill's body bump him and instinctively he grabbed it and though bruised in a hundred places, he finally shot out at the foot of the rapids still clutching Bill's limp form. Bob was himself ...
— Bob Hunt in Canada • George W. Orton

... in the air; not deigning the least notice of us, except as of a thing that may be got to fight for him! And he does not sign the Double-Marriage Treaty, Madam; only talks of signing it,—as if we were a starved coach-horse, to be quickened along by a wisp of hay put upon the coach-pole close ahead of us always!"—"JARNI-BLEU!" snuffles Seckendorf with a virtuous zeal, or looks it; and things are not ...
— History Of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Volume V. (of XXI.) • Thomas Carlyle

... again to myself, the monster had pulled himself together, his crutch under his arm, his hat upon his head. Just before him Tom lay motionless upon the sward; but the murderer minded him not a whit, cleansing his blood-stained knife the while upon a wisp of grass. Everything else was unchanged, the sun still shining mercilessly on the steaming marsh and the tall pinnacle of the mountain, and I could scarce persuade myself that murder had been actually done, and ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 6 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... chapel long before this. Well, I'll have a wash at the spring, and away to church.' Saying which, he carefully picked the straw from his coat, cleaned his dusty shoes with a wisp of dry grass, and after a thorough washing of face and hands, he took up the worn felt hat of the stranger, and ...
— Adrift in the Ice-Fields • Charles W. Hall

... of electrical energy between the vessel and the atmosphere. Similar lights are said sometimes to be seen rising from the surface of the water. Such phenomena are at present not satisfactorily explained. Perhaps in the same group of actions comes the so-called "Jack-o'-lantern" or "Will-o'-the-wisp" fires flashing from the earth in marshy places, which are often described by the common people, but have never been observed by a naturalist. If this class of illuminations really exists, we have to afford them ...
— Outlines of the Earth's History - A Popular Study in Physiography • Nathaniel Southgate Shaler

... on the flagged pavement, there sat, leaning against a stone post, a young fellow in a coarse blue linen shirt, and breeches of the same, in plaited bark shoes, and a torn, reddish cap. Near him lay a little bag, and a scythe without a handle, with a wisp of hay twisted round it and carefully tied with string. The youth was broad-shouldered, squarely built, flaxen headed, with a sunburnt and weather-beaten face, and big blue eyes that stared with confident ...
— Creatures That Once Were Men • Maxim Gorky

... It is a great scheme, if it comes off; and the "only begetter" of it, if report is true, is Mr. Winston Churchill, the strategist of the Antwerp expedition, who now aspires to be the Dardanelson of our age. Anyhow, the Sultan, lured on by the Imperial William o' the Wisp, is already capable of envying even ...
— Mr. Punch's History of the Great War • Punch

... of the blinking starres, and the wicked and devilish wills-o'-the-wisp, as they gambol among the marshes, ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the same time it occupies so large an apparent portion of the heavens, how stupendous must be the extent of the nebula. It would seem almost as if all the other clusters hitherto gauged were collected and compressed into one, they would not surpass this mighty group, in which every wisp—every wrinkle—is a sand-heap of stars. There are cases in which, though imagination has quailed, reason may still adventure inquiry, and prolong its speculations; but at times we are brought to a limit across which no human ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... marvel that struck him with wonder. He brought all his relatives in different groups to see the strange sights,—instantaneous fire-making, and a light, without the annoyance of having fire and smoke in the middle of the floor. When they wish to look for anything in the dark, a wisp ...
— A Popular Account of Dr. Livingstone's Expedition to the Zambesi and Its Tributaries • David Livingstone

... with every evidence of similar practice; but his proficiency was the result of years of painstaking effort. Unaided he had worked out a method of his own for putting an edge upon the shell—he even tested it with the ball of his thumb—and when it met with his approval he grasped a wisp of hair which fell across his eyes, grasped it between the thumb and first finger of his left hand and sawed upon it with the sharpened shell until it was severed. All around his head he went until his ...
— Jungle Tales of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... dressing-gown he knew so well. She trailed through life in that red dressing-gown, with its row of dirty blue bows down the front, stained, and hooked on awry; a torn flounce at the bottom following her like a snake as she moved languidly about, with her hair negligently caught up, and a tangled wisp straggling untidily down her back. His gaze travelled upwards from bow to bow, noticing those that hung only by a thread, but it did not go beyond her chin. He looked at her lean throat, at the obtrusive collarbone visible in ...
— An Outcast of the Islands • Joseph Conrad

... stopped, looking uncertainly at the sole occupant of that cozy room. She was reclining, eyes closed and hands folded, on a pillowed settee, where the glow of a shaded lamp fell softly upon her, and David thought her the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. A very wisp of a woman she was; he could have held her in his arms and scarcely felt the weight. But he would have taken her very tenderly, so fragile she seemed. Under a filmy lace cap her hair, still fine and plentiful, shone silvery. The face, though the face of age and white and thin almost to transparency, ...
— The House of Toys • Henry Russell Miller

... upon his mother's knees toying with the edge of the bath, already tasting its delights in advance. Mrs Blackshaw undressed the upper half of him, and then she laid him on the flat of his back and undressed the lower half of him, but keeping some wisp of a garment round his equatorial regions. And then she washed his face with a sponge and the Castile soap, very gently, but not half gently enough for Emmie, nor half gently enough for Roger, for Roger looked upon this ...
— The Grim Smile of the Five Towns • Arnold Bennett

... off—eighty—sixty—now. Up goes the gun, but alas and alas! they catch a glimpse of the light glinting on the barrels, and perhaps of the head behind them, and in another second they have broken and scattered this way and that way, twisting off like a wisp of gigantic snipe, to vanish with melancholy cries into the depth ...
— Beatrice • H. Rider Haggard

... whether any life was worth living for a woman who had neither husband nor children. Was the family all that life had to offer? could she find no interest outside the household? And so, led by this will-of-the-wisp, she had, with her eyes open, walked into the quagmire of politics, in spite of remonstrance, in ...
— Democracy An American Novel • Henry Adams

... air of decision which exacts respect alike from men and women. Seen thus, with the more vivacious Julia at her side, Estella gained suddenly in moral strength and depth—suggesting a steady fire in contrast with a flickering will-o'-the-wisp blown hither and thither on every zephyr. Yet Julia Barenna would pass anywhere as a ...
— In Kedar's Tents • Henry Seton Merriman

... off. A wisp of ash had dropped and my mental howl must have been loud enough to scorch their minds. It was enough to stop Martha, at any rate. But the wisp of ash was cold and nothing happened except my spine got coldly wet and sweat ran down my face and into my mouth. The palm of my hand ...
— Stop Look and Dig • George O. Smith

... contrary, he roamed about the country occupying himself at odd times with such bits of light mental or physical work as came his way. Being without training and taking no real interest in his work, he never retained any job long. Sometimes, lured by the will-o'-the-wisp of some fancied opportunity to make a million, he gave up his work. Sometimes he merely got tired of working and quit. But most often he was discharged for his incompetence. It is difficult indeed for any ...
— Analyzing Character • Katherine M. H. Blackford and Arthur Newcomb

... Medical-Surgical Officer Kelly Lightfoot was sitting on the deck, stowing sterile bandage packs into a lower locker. She looked up at Clay and smiled. "Well, well, you DID manage to tear yourself away from your adoring bevies," she said. She flicked back a wisp of golden-red hair from her forehead and stood up. The patrol-blue uniform coverall with its belted waist didn't do much to hide a lovely, properly curved figure. She walked over to the tall Canadian trooper and reached up and grabbed his ear. She pulled ...
— Code Three • Rick Raphael

... regime. But, if many of the English people, weary of the increasing burdens which fell upon them, had their dreams of a good time coming, they, instead of following the mere glimmer of the will-o'-the-wisp, across the darkness of their lot, responded rather to signs of coming activities. Through the darkness they saw perhaps nothing very striking, but they felt occasionally the thrill of coming activities which were struggling for birth in that pregnant mother-night which seemed ...
— Fragments of Two Centuries - Glimpses of Country Life when George III. was King • Alfred Kingston

... H. Evans, in his History of the Parish of Llanwddyn, states that in that parish "Will of the Wisp" is called "Yr Ellyll Dan." This is indeed the common name for the Ignis fatuus in most, if not in all parts of Wales, but in some places where English is spoken it is better known by the English term, "Jack o' Lantern," or "Jack ...
— Welsh Folk-Lore - a Collection of the Folk-Tales and Legends of North Wales • Elias Owen

... of us the veery, as they call the Wilson's thrush in New England, is merely a voice, a sylvan mystery, reflecting the sweetness and wildness of the forest, a vocal "will-o'-the-wisp" that, after enticing us deeper and deeper into the woods, where we sink into the spongy moss of its damp retreats and become entangled in the wild grape-vines twined about the saplings and underbrush, still sings to us from unapproachable tangles. Plainly, if we want ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... soul was upon the streets excepting a solitary straggler, returning hither and thither from an evening sermon, or an occasional watchman gliding past with his lantern, like an incarnation of the Will-o'-wisp. I strolled up and down for half an hour, wrapped in an olive great-coat, and having a green silk umbrella over my head. It was well I chanced to be so well fortified against the weather; for had it been otherwise, ...
— The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. - Volume 13, No. 359, Saturday, March 7, 1829. • Various

... the cliff puffed a cloud of dust. A thudding report boomed over the water. Just a wisp of whitish-grey smoke arose, and beneath it the great rock, with a gapping seam across its top, rolled majestically outward, sending a shower of spray on all sides, and opening to their eager view a black chasm into the heart of the ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... until he passes on." Evading restraint, he plunged into the fen, and for some days he wandered there, eating berries, sleeping on tussocks of grass, with water-snakes crawling over him and poisonous plants shedding their baneful dew on his flesh. He came to the lake at last. A will-o'the-wisp played along the surface. "'Tis she!" he cried. "I see her, standing in the light." Hastily fashioning a raft of cypress boughs he floated it and pushed toward the centre of the pond, but the eagerness of his efforts and the rising of a wind dismembered ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... notes on Shakspeare, purposely to mislead or entrap Malone, and obtain for himself an easy triumph in the next edition! Steevens loved to assist the credulous in getting up for them some strange new thing, dancing them about with a Will-o'-the-wisp—now alarming them by a shriek of laughter! and now like a grinning Pigwigging sinking them chin-deep into a quagmire! Once he presented them with a fictitious portrait of Shakspeare, and when the brotherhood were sufficiently divided in their opinions, he pounced ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 3 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... answer possible, and my muscles were stiffening for it when suddenly Miss Falconer's handkerchief, a mere wisp of linen which she had been clenching between her fingers, dropped to the floor. With a purely automatic movement, I bent to recover it for her; she leaned down to receive it. Her pale face and lovely dilated eyes were close to me for a fleeting second, and though her lips did not ...
— The Firefly Of France • Marion Polk Angellotti

... drenching gusts. It was wretched weather; and how I came to be out in it I am sure I forget; but perhaps it was that the morning had been a bright one, and that, beguiled by the clear winter sun, which threw its will-o'-the-wisp rays on my table like gold-edged invitation cards to be stirring, I had set out joyously in hopes of a good bracing walk on the hard, frost-dried roads, which, seen from my windows, gleamed smooth ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 15, - No. 90, June, 1875 • Various

... Gerhardt, indicating the wisp of dead grasses with his free hand, "nest. That is a ...
— Jennie Gerhardt - A Novel • Theodore Dreiser

... over her forehead, placing a wisp of errant hair, and said, "I suppose, as an expert from Moscow, you'll be installing a whole ...
— Freedom • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... its shape inaugurating the suspicion that it had been ravaged from a former equine possessor. In his hand was a valise—description of it is an impossible task; a Boston man would not have carried his lunch and law books to his office in it. And above one ear, in his hair, was a wisp of hay—the rustic's letter of credit, his badge of innocence, the last clinging touch of the Garden of Eden lingering to shame ...
— Strictly Business • O. Henry

... the private secretary, twisting his black wisp of a mustache, "it is more than serious now; it is no longer the French Establishments of Oceania. It is between Great ...
— Mystic Isles of the South Seas. • Frederick O'Brien

... Davenant here presided over the Dorset Gardens Company; Shadwell, "round as a butt and liquored every chink," nightly reeled home to the same precinct, unsteadily following the guidance of a will-o'-the-wisp link-boy; and in the square lived and died Sir John King, the Duke ...
— Old and New London - Volume I • Walter Thornbury

... and took off his snowshoes. To one who had never come before, the whole place would have seemed absolutely desolate, and even to one not a stranger no sign of life would have been visible had he not possessed uncommonly keen eyes. But Henry had such eyes. He saw the faintest wisp of smoke stealing away against the surface of the cliff, and he felt confident that all four were there. He resolved ...
— The Scouts of the Valley • Joseph A. Altsheler

... ankle, you may be sho'," observed Matthew Field, a long wisp of a man who had married too early to repent it too late, "an' I must say, if it kills me, that I always had a ...
— The Deliverance; A Romance of the Virginia Tobacco Fields • Ellen Glasgow

... lying down, his body supported by a heap of dead. I raised my lantern to look at his face, and found that his ear and part of his jaw had been blown off. Great clots of blood, coagulated by the cold, hung from his lower jaw. There was a wild look in his eyes. I took a wisp of straw, dipped it in my flask, drew up a few drops of brandy, and blew them into the poor fellow's mouth between his teeth. I repeated this three or four times. A little life then came back to him, and we took him away in one of the vehicles. The same thing was done for ...
— My Double Life - The Memoirs of Sarah Bernhardt • Sarah Bernhardt

... pounds. Weel, three or four years passed awa, and we heard something about the lawsuit, but naething about the money. I was vexed for having onything to say to it. I thought it was only wasting a candle to chase a will-o'-the-wisp. About the time I speak o', my mither had turned very frail. I saw there was a wastin' awa o' nature, and she wadna be lang beside me. The day before her death, she took my hand, and 'Davy,' says she to me—'Davy,' poor body, she repeated (I think I hear her yet)—'it ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... because it is true, sir," Mr. Cowper asserted, a little severely. "Your services, Mr. Bunsome, are necessary to us, but I beg that you will not confound the enterprise in which you will presently find yourself engaged, with any of the hazardous, will-o'-the-wisp undertakings which spring up day by day, they tell me, in the city, and which owe their very existence and such measure of success as they may achieve, to the credulity of fools. Let me impress upon you, Mr. ...
— The Double Life Of Mr. Alfred Burton • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... Liszt. The keys, not the fingers, bend; she can compass ten keys by the span and elasticity of her fingers; this phenomenon must be seen to be believed. Music, her mother, and her husband: these three words sum up her character. She is the Fenella of the fireside; the will-o'-wisp of our souls; our gaiety; the life of the house. When she is not here, the very walls are conscious of her absence—so much does she brighten them by her presence. She had never known misfortune; she knows nothing of annoyance; she is the idol of all who surround her, and she ...
— Women in the Life of Balzac • Juanita Helm Floyd

... away, found a retired spot upon the promenade deck behind a boat, lit a very black cigar, and, drawing his field-glasses from his pocket, searched the horizon carefully. There was no sign of any passing steamer, not even the faintest wisp of black smoke anywhere upon the horizon. It was Wednesday to-day, and they had left New York on Saturday. He drew a sheet of paper from his pocket and made a few calculations. It was the day and past the time upon which things were due ...
— The Box with Broken Seals • E. Phillips Oppenheim

... divisible, each of them is infinitely divisible also; all that is actual in it being a single moment, gone while we try to apprehend it, of which it may ever be more truly said that it has ceased to be than that it is. [236] To such a tremulous wisp constantly re-forming itself on the stream, to a single sharp impression, with a sense in it, a relic more or less fleeting, of such moments gone by, what is real in our life fines itself down. It is with this movement, with ...
— The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Horatio Pater

... forth my lamentations and self-accusations to our Blessed Father, who said: "What a masterful spirit you have! You want to walk upon the wings of the wind. You let yourself be carried away by your zeal, which, like a will-of-the-wisp, will surely lead you over a precipice. Have you forgotten the warning of your patron, St. Peter, not to think you can walk in burning heat?[4] Would you do more than God, and restrain the liberty of the creatures whom God has made free? You ...
— The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales • Jean Pierre Camus

... is unique among operatic overtures, as it has a chorus behind the curtain interwoven with it. It is a picture of the opera itself, and contains a will-o'-the-wisp passage, a rustic song with accompaniment of goat-bells, a storm, and in the midst of the storm a chant to the Virgin, sung by the unseen chorus, and then a Pilgrimage march, the whole being in the nature of a retrospect. ...
— The Standard Operas (12th edition) • George P. Upton

... well gone than my grandfather came from his hiding-place, and twisting a wisp of straw round his horse's feet, that they might not dirl or make a din on the stones, he led it cannily out and down to the river's brink, and, there mounting, took the ford, and was soon free on the Gorbals side. Riding up the gait at a brisk trot, he passed on ...
— Ringan Gilhaize - or The Covenanters • John Galt

... country speaking to thousands of persons and turning their thoughts toward the great cause. Little by little she gained ground, made progress, and could say of the spread of interest: "It was like the fire we used to kindle on the western prairie, a match and a wisp of dry grass was all that was needed, and behold the magnificent spectacle of a prairie on fire, sweeping across the landscape swift as a thousand untrained steeds and no more to ...
— Modern Americans - A Biographical School Reader for the Upper Grades • Chester Sanford

... which he could extract nothing; the squire, looking as black as thunder in his study at Hazeldean; his mother trying to plead for him, and getting herself properly scolded for her pains; and then off went that Will-o'-the-wisp which pretended to call itself Thought, and began playing round the pale, charming face of Beatrice di Negra, in the drawing-room at Curzon Street, and repeating, with small elfin voice, Randal Leslie's assurance of the preceding day, ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... yourself to a blind beetle in an unbecoming way. 'Tis well that there's one in the house that knows what is befitting. Miss Dollars, you stand still; I must sort your necktie before you go. 'Tis all of a wisp. Miss Mysie, you tell your mamma that I should be fain to know her pleasure about Miss Dollars' frocks. She've scarce got one—coloured or ...
— The Two Sides of the Shield • Charlotte M. Yonge

... a bunch of fern or flowers, and brightening the trunks of the interlacing trees. As she saw the lights and shadows dancing before her she became serious for a moment, and fancied they were like the will-o'-the-wisp, and portended no good; but she soon quickened her pace, and at the first opening went out again into the road, where the sun was uninterrupted in his gaze, and her ...
— Gladys, the Reaper • Anne Beale

... dull and the bright colouring fades to neutral tints in the dust and heat of the day. But when it survives play-days and school-days, circumstances alone determine whether the electric sparkle shall go to play will-o'-the-wisp with the larrikin type, or warm the breasts of the spirited, single-hearted, loyal ones who ...
— Seven Little Australians • Ethel Sybil Turner

... like a wisp of straw floating down a wide smooth river; reading Meredith one is flicked and flapped and beaten, as if beneath a hand ...
— One Hundred Best Books • John Cowper Powys

... circumstances; but, to use a conveniently erroneous phrase, the variations arose spontaneously. The fruitless search after final causes leads their pursuers a long way; but even those hardy teleologists, who are ready to break through all the laws of physics in chase of their favourite will-o'-the-wisp, may be puzzled to discover what purpose could be attained by the stunted legs of Seth Wright's ram or the ...
— The Origin of Species - From 'The Westminster Review', April 1860 • Thomas H. Huxley

... foolish heart was mere delusion and bewildering deception. What I beheld raising you to the stars, as though with eagles' wings, was a clogging weight; what seemed to me at a distance the bright sunshine irradiating your path, was a Will-o'-the-wisp luring to destruction. What I thought white, was black, the radiant daylight was dusk and the darkness of night. Oh, if it were really granted me Yet, child, you certainly do not know what you are asking. So, before it comes to the final ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... up the fell to the southward on whose crest the track showed like a wisp of hay left by the reaper. Gaining the top she paused and looked athwart the mighty view outstretched before her. To her husband she knew it was as Swinburne's 'great glad land that knows not bourne nor bound,' but to herself ...
— Border Ghost Stories • Howard Pease

... frightful wilderness. In a journey of forty miles Avaux counted only three miserable cabins. Every thing else was rock, bog, and moor. When at length the travellers reached Omagh, they found it in ruins. The Protestants, who were the majority of the inhabitants, had abandoned it, leaving not a wisp of straw nor a cask of liquor. The windows had been broken: the chimneys had been beaten in: the very locks and bolts of the doors ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 3 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... from Colonel Symonds Dodd. It was rather astonishing to find softness in him in respect to flowers. He seemed as hard as a block of wood. He had a squat, square body and his legs seemed to be set on the corners of that body. His square face was smooth except for a wisp of whisker, minute as a water-color brush, jutting from under his pendulous ...
— The Landloper - The Romance Of A Man On Foot • Holman Day

... began, "don't you get to thinking that when you hide your own head in the sand no one can see the colour of your feathers. You might as well try to cover up Bunker Hill Monument with a wisp of straw. Don't you suppose I know you love Gwen Darrow? That's what's ...
— The Darrow Enigma • Melvin L. Severy

... Cortina is a gentleman and a scholar, a man of vast information, and a protector of the fine arts. His conversation is a series of electric sparks; brilliant as an ignis fatuus, and bewildering as a will-o'-the-wisp. I have seldom heard such eloquence even in trifles; and he writes with as much ease as he speaks. We have seen three clever pieces of his lately, showing his versatile genius; one upon earthquakes, one upon the devil, and one upon the holy fathers ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon de la Barca

... this curious figure were an old blouse, formerly blue, and trousers of the coarse burlap used in Paris to wrap bales. All city people would have shuddered at the sight of his broken sabots, without even a wisp of straw to stop the cracks; and it is very certain that the blouse and the trousers had no money value at all except ...
— Sons of the Soil • Honore de Balzac

... dizziness. The coloring was impossible. The aridness, the desiccation, the lifelessness of everything about was somehow shocking. Bordman found himself straining his eyes for the merest, scrubbiest of bushes and for however stunted and isolated a wisp ...
— Sand Doom • William Fitzgerald Jenkins

... and Three, have skull-caps of lemon yellow and dull gold thread, and blue dungaree jackets faded and threadbare. They are young lusty fellows, and Stroke, who is a tough-looking, middle-aged man, with a wiry beard, has a skull-cap between rose and brown, and round it a salmon-coloured wisp of a turban—over them there is the arch of the frogged foot of the lateen sail. All but Bow are in full sunlight, sweating at their oars, he is in the shadow the sail casts on our bow. We recline, to quote our upholsterer, ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... devotedness of disposition would by her sweetness attract a lover too early, and by her tenderness respond to him too readily, and by her devotedness follow him too blindly, before she had time to know herself or men. And he also knew, or believed, that first love is as often a will-o'-the-wisp as the star for which all young things take it. Five days in the week he tended the gardens of Alfriston, the sixth he gave to the Lord of the Burgh that lay among the hills, and the seventh he kept for his daughter on the hill a few miles distant, which was afterwards ...
— Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard • Eleanor Farjeon

... shopkeeper; teased by all the children, and scouted by all the animals of the parish;—but yet living through his griefs, and bearing them patiently, 'for sufferance is the badge of all his tribe;'—and even seeming to find, in an occasional full meal, or a gleam of sunshine, or a wisp of dry straw on which to repose his sorry carcase, some comfort in his ...
— Our Village • Mary Russell Mitford

... I do, Jane? I transformed myself into a will-o'-the-wisp. Where did I go? I pursued wanderings as wild as those of the March-spirit. I sought the Continent, and went devious through all its lands. My fixed desire was to seek and find a good and intelligent woman, whom I could love: ...
— Jane Eyre - an Autobiography • Charlotte Bronte

... saw only a crowd of men and boys, who jeered and hooted. This was a sight not new; but in their midst he caught a glimpse of a crested helmet and the black cloak of a slave-driver. And then the crowd parted, and Nicanor saw a girl, a lean wisp of a thing, with burning eyes and a gray face framed in straight black hair, with chained wrists and a ragged frock which slipped aside to show a long red welt across her brown shoulders. The slave-driver held the end of the chain, his heavy whip tucked beneath one arm,—a squat man with a black ...
— Nicanor - Teller of Tales - A Story of Roman Britain • C. Bryson Taylor

... stump, with his muddy legs drawn up, his dismal face splashed with mud, and the whole lower half of his body as black as if he had been dipped in an inkstand, he presented such a comically doleful object that Ben danced about, laughing like a naughty will-o'-the-wisp who, having led a traveller astray then ...
— Under the Lilacs • Louisa May Alcott

... then dropped lightly into a big wicker chair, conscious that Koltsoff had not withdrawn his gaze. She leaned forward and flicked her skirts over her ankles, nervously pulled a stray wisp of hair from her neck. Then she slowly met the eyes of the man standing at her side and propounded an inquiry having to do with nothing less banal than his views of America thus far. Prince Koltsoff tossed his head and thus threw ...
— Prince or Chauffeur? - A Story of Newport • Lawrence Perry

... like a big intellectual boy who unless mother looks after him will get indigestion or neurasthenia. Sometimes men pity their leaders. Meighen, with his intensity and his thought before action looks such a frail wisp of a man. The last time I saw him in public he was bare-headed on an open-air stage, a dusky, lean silhouette against a vast flare of water and sky. On the same spot less than two hundred years ago, that singular, overbuilt top head and sharply tapering, elongated oval of a face ...
— The Masques of Ottawa • Domino

... hands are like the fall Of velvet snowflakes; like the touch of down The peach just brushes 'gainst the garden wall; The flossy fondlings of the thistle-wisp Caught in the crinkle of a leaf of brown The blighting frost hath turned from green ...
— Riley Love-Lyrics • James Whitcomb Riley

... moon is high o'er the ruined tower, When the night-bird sings in her lonely bower, When beetle and cricket and bat are awake, And the will-o'-the-wisp is at play in the brake, Oh then do we gather, all frolic and glee, We gay little elfins, beneath the old tree! And brightly we hover on silvery wing, And dip our small cups in the whispering spring, While the ...
— Graham's Magazine, Vol. XXXII No. 4, April 1848 • Various

... companion's cordial hand- pressure almost unconsciously. He stood, leaning against the mantelpiece, and looking gravely down into the fire. His first emotion was one of repugnance,—of rejection, . . what did he need of this will-o'-the-wisp called Fame, dancing again across his path,—this transitory torch of world-approval! Fame in London! ... What was it, what COULD it be, compared to the brilliancy of the fame he had once enjoyed as Laureate of Al-Kyris! As this thought passed across his mind, he ...
— Ardath - The Story of a Dead Self • Marie Corelli

... form, they should be protected from sunlight by either half breaking off the outer leaves and bending them over them, or by gathering these leaves loosely together and confining them loosely by rough pegs, or by tying them together with a wisp of rye-straw. ...
— Cabbages and Cauliflowers: How to Grow Them • James John Howard Gregory

... the victim of a soul-destroying, home-wrecking, and accursed habit, which that gifted American, Colonel Robert Ingersoll, has, in words of fiery eloquence, called 'the treacherous, insidious murderer of home and happiness; the Will-o'-the-Wisp that draws honour, genius, and all that is good into its fatal, deadly quagmire.' To the assertion that our valued contemporary is 'the possessor of one of the brightest intellects of the present century' (as he so modestly informs us) we do not ...
— Tom Gerrard - 1904 • Louis Becke

... reports, they heard a voice shouting: "Scowrers! A lot of them, coming from up the river!" A moment later, there was a light whip-crack of one of the long muzzle-loaders, from the top of the old Carnegie Library, and Altamont could see a wisp of gray-white smoke drifting away from where it had been fired. He jumped to his feet and raced for the radio, picking it up and bringing ...
— The Return • H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire

... encouraging its advancement. We cannot but believe, however, if we may be allowed an analogical inference, that the age is fast approaching the climax of its utilitarian inventions, and that man, instead of chasing through unknown regions every will-o-wisp of his brain, in the hope of bringing it a captive to the Patent-office, will sit modestly down to apply to their various uses the discoveries already made. Then will the healthy feast of literature once more begin, and the public cease to be surfeited by the watery hash ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 4 October 1848 • Various

... any number of chimney clusters; but the general air of the place was extremely cold and forbidding. Notwithstanding it was mid-winter and that an inch or more of snow lay on the ground, there was not a wisp of smoke above any of the chimneys to indicate the welcome ...
— The Paternoster Ruby • Charles Edmonds Walk

... mandarin, of middle age, was garbed in a stiff, dark satin gown, heavy with gold and jewels which flashed brightly in the light of a camp-fire. His severe, dark face was long, and stamped with intelligence of a high order. He wore a mustache which drooped down to form a hair wisp on either side of ...
— Peter the Brazen - A Mystery Story of Modern China • George F. Worts

... were taken—wandering round and round, 'Jerusalem the Golden' quavering shrill, Changing his tune to 'Tommy Tiddler's Ground': Till, just a lost child on that dazzling hill, Bewildered in a glittering golden maze Of stinging scented fire, he dropped, quite done, A shrivelling wisp within a world ablaze Beneath a blinding ...
— Georgian Poetry 1913-15 • Edited by E. M. (Sir Edward Howard Marsh)

... coasted thus, never out of sight of shore, and usually with islands between us and the main body of water. In all that time we had no sign of man—not even a wisp of smoke, nor heard the crack of distant rifle. About us extended loneliness and desolation, great waters never still, vast forests grim and somber, tall, menacing rocks, ...
— Beyond the Frontier • Randall Parrish

... into mid-air caverns; London absorbs all they have as morsels. Anyhow, it is the business of ships. The people on the bridge watch another life below, with its strange cries and mysterious movements. A leisurely wisp of steam rises from a steamer's funnel. She is alive and breathing, though motionless. The walls enclosing the Pool are spectral in a winter light, and might be no more than the almost forgotten memory of a dark past. Looking at them intently, to give them a name, the wayfarer ...
— London River • H. M. Tomlinson

... Hawthorne, that, if George Ripley, instead of following after a will-o'-the-wisp notion, which could only lead him into a bog, had used the means at his disposal to cultivate Brook Farm in a rational manner, and had made it a hospitable rendezvous for intellectual and progressive people,—an oasis ...
— The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne • Frank Preston Stearns

... by Commonside and was high on the Caerlanrig before he saw signs of men. The moon swam in a dim dark sky, and the hills were as yellow as corn. The round top of the Wisp made a clear mark to ride by. Sim was a nervous man, and at another time would never have dared to ride alone by the ruined shieling of Chasehope, where folk said a witch had dwelt long ago and the Devil still came in the small hours. But now he was too full of his cares to have room for dread. ...
— The Moon Endureth—Tales and Fancies • John Buchan

... been left by the murderous savages, and at once turned their horses' heads and fled. They were not a moment too soon; for the Indians, who had been lying in ambush, rose and fired at the boys. Matthews had a narrow escape; for a bullet cut off the wisp of hair (known as a queue) that hung dangling from the back of his head. The danger that he had passed through, and the sight of his murdered neighbors, roused young Matthews to action. He collected a party of men, put himself at the head of them, followed and overtook ...
— Stories Of Georgia - 1896 • Joel Chandler Harris

... and fodder, let me inform you. Why, when we were retreating from Sventsyani we dare not touch a stick or a wisp of hay or anything. You see, we were going away, so he would get it all; wasn't it so, your excellency?" and again Timokhin turned to the prince. "But we daren't. In our regiment two officers were court-martialed for that kind of thing. But when his Serenity took command everything ...
— War and Peace • Leo Tolstoy

... us crowded into the automatic elevator, and I pressed the seventh floor button. The girl's eyes shone under the wisp of veil twisted around a knowing little turban. She liked the taste ...
— The Million-Dollar Suitcase • Alice MacGowan

... anything about me I could sell to get him bread!" thought Nello, but he had nothing except the wisp of linen and serge that covered him, and his ...
— Stories of Childhood • Various

... comb, the thin wisp of faded hair falling over her shoulders; "an elopement! Miss Sharp a fugitive! What, what is this?" and she eagerly broke the neat seal, and, as they say, "devoured the contents" of the letter addressed ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... miserable and alone. Nor was it until a disk of gold smote suddenly on the rock before her that she looked up and beheld a twinkle of blue sky. The fog puffed across the blue, the blue looked down again,—a bigger eye than before,—a wisp of fog filmed it again, and again it gleamed out, ever larger and always more blue. The good wind living far to the south had heard that in a few days a little girl was to be alone and comfortless upon a foggy island, and, hearing, had filled his vast chest with warmth and sunshine, ...
— Aladdin O'Brien • Gouverneur Morris

... fact that he was not permitted to linger in Manila. Instead, he was at once ordered up-country, where at a one-troop post he administered the affairs of a somewhat hectic province, and under the guidance of the local constabulary chased will-o'-the-wisp brigands. On a shelf in his quarters he placed the silver loving-cup, and at night, when the village slept, he would sit facing it, filling one pipe after another, and through the smoke staring at the evidence ...
— The Lost Road • Richard Harding Davis

... the monster, turning up the white of his undersides, made a dart at a black bottle and a wisp of hay which had been thrown overboard in the morning. Down they went into ...
— Marmaduke Merry - A Tale of Naval Adventures in Bygone Days • William H. G. Kingston

... to a monument. And he was like one. He didn't speak, he didn't budge. He just sat there, holding his handsome old head up, immovable, and almost bigger than life. It was extremely fine. Mr. Stonor's presence reduced poor old Jermyn to a mere shabby wisp of a man, and made the talkative stranger in tweeds on the hearthrug look absurdly boyish. The latter must have been a few years over thirty, and was certainly not the sort of individual that gets abashed ...
— A Set of Six • Joseph Conrad

... Ah bet Ah knows just the woman for you-all, ef you-all ain't lookin' for a young gal with a figger like a wisp of hay." ...
— Polly of Pebbly Pit • Lillian Elizabeth Roy

... for the stars. The evening wind arose; at last the day died; unheralded by any dusk, on came the night. Color of blood changed to color of gold, gleamed and glistened the sea, sparkled the fire-flies, shone the deep stars; over the marsh flared the will-o'-the-wisp like a torch lit ...
— Sir Mortimer • Mary Johnston

... — [breaking out into a passionate cry.] — Your hair, and your big eyes, is it?... I'm telling you there isn't a wisp on any gray mare on the ridge of the world isn't finer than the dirty twist on your head. There isn't two eyes in any starving sow isn't finer than the eyes you were calling ...
— The Well of the Saints • J. M. Synge

... Northern light. * * * * * * * * * Never was isle so little, never was sea so lone, But over the scud and the palm-trees an English flag has flown. I have wrenched it free from the halliard to hang for a wisp on the Horn; I have chased it north to the Lizard—ribboned and rolled and torn; I have spread its folds o'er the dying, adrift in a hopeless sea; I have hurled it swift on the slaver, and seen the slave set free. * * * * * * * * * Never the lotos closes, never ...
— Deeds that Won the Empire - Historic Battle Scenes • W. H. Fitchett

... get on firm footing. We but advance into sloughs of despond, led by wills of the wisp; and the girl mediums, the so-called clairvoyantes, invariably lose mental health and physical strength. It is but a matter of time, and they become hysteria patients or inhabitants of lunatic asylums. I have known a clever clergyman of the ...
— The Argosy - Vol. 51, No. 2, February, 1891 • Various

... dearie me, the sight of you is good for tired eyes, Charlotte," she bumbled in her rich, deep old voice. As she spoke she tucked a white wisp of a curl back into place beneath the second water wave that protruded from under the little white widow's ruche in her bonnet and continued to beam at me. "I met Nellie Morgan and her Annarugans hurrying to pray a pardon from Mr. Goodloe for that ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... prison, at the galleys, or otherwise, would have recourse to the demon to extricate them from their troubles! It would be very easy for me to relate here a great number of curious stories of persons generally believed to be bewitched, of haunted houses, or horses rubbed down by will-o'-the-wisp, which I have myself seen at different times and places, at last reduced to nothing. This I can affirm, that two monks, very sensible men, who had exercised the office of inquisitors, one for twenty-four years, and the other during twenty-eight, have assured ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet



Words linked to "Wisp" :   package, bundle, flock, packet, snipe, wispy



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