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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



... from which wholesome fruit can spring. When love and truth dies out of marriage, its vitality is gone. God forgive the men and the women who dare to hold the most beautiful tie that links soul to soul, as a wisp of flax, to be rent or burned at the will of ...
— Phemie Frost's Experiences • Ann S. Stephens

... it was out of the question to think of putting out the flame that leaped from wisp to ...
— The High School Boys' Training Hike • H. Irving Hancock

... puzzling about it, only if they had been there it would not have seemed so lonely. Suddenly—what was that in the distance? A light, a tiny light, bobbing in and out of sight among the trees? Could it be a star come out of its way to take pity on her? Much more likely a Will-o'-the-wisp; for she did not stop to reflect that a dry pine forest in summer-time is not one of Will-o'-the-wisp's favourite playgrounds. It was a light, as to that there was no doubt, and it was coming nearer. Whether she was more frightened ...
— A Christmas Posy • Mary Louisa Stewart Molesworth

... 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 ...
— Mr. Punch's History of the Great War • Punch

... mused, "the gorse would be out, fringing the pastures, and on the roadside would be heartsease and faery thimbles, and perhaps a few late primroses; and the meadow would be green with corn." A faint wisp of a sigh escaped her at the thought, and the tinker looked across at her questioningly. "Sure, it's my heart hungering a bit for the bogland and a whiff of the turf smoke. This exile idea is a grand one for a play, but it gets lonesome at times ...
— Seven Miles to Arden • Ruth Sawyer

... your allowance for the year L200—a sum which is insufficient to pay the Dutch teacher employed to bring the children up to the required standard in that language. It is small wonder, then, that most teachers prefer to dispense with this Will-o'-the-wisp grant altogether, seeing that the efforts of some to earn it have resulted in pecuniary loss. The actual sum expended on Uitlander schools last year amounted to L650, or 1s. 10d. a head out of a total expenditure ...
— The Transvaal from Within - A Private Record of Public Affairs • J. P. Fitzpatrick

... his name and watched Bedelia's moist hand, reddened from dishwater, laboriously constructing her signature while she breathed hard over the task, the plane seemed irrevocably lost. Mommie, leaning close to his shoulder so that a wisp of her hair tickled his cheek while she wrote, gave him a little cheer by her nearness and her unspoken friendliness. She signed "Mary Amanda Selmer" very precisely, with old-fashioned curls at the end of each word. Then, quite unexpectedly, she slipped an arm ...
— The Thunder Bird • B. M. Bower

... 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 ...
— Philosophy and Religion - Six Lectures Delivered at Cambridge • Hastings Rashdall

... 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 ...
— Life in Mexico • Frances Calderon De La Barca

... toward the island. The increase in size told him that. It was no will-o'-the-wisp on the water, appearing a moment, then gone, foully cheating his hopes. If she kept her course, and there was no reason why she should not, she would make the island. He had no doubt from the first that a landing there was its definite ...
— The Sun Of Quebec - A Story of a Great Crisis • Joseph A. Altsheler

... about the Levy on Capital that seems to me to be the merest will o' the wisp is the delusion that the whole saving that it would entail by reducing the debt charge would necessarily and certainly go to the relief of income tax. On this assumption Mr Pethick Lawrence bases his most persuasive appeal to the smaller ...
— War-Time Financial Problems • Hartley Withers

... A wisp of cloud, a long trail of shimmering gold, broke loose, swept with the touch of softest silk across my cheek, and half awakened me. I was lazily and sleepily regretting that such caresses only came in dreams, when I was brought sharply ...
— The Yeoman Adventurer • George W. Gough

... handkerchief that on first waking up he had plucked from his face. And he knew by its soft thin feeling and its delicate scent of violets, Bee's favorite perfume, that it was her handkerchief, and she had spread it as a veil over his exposed and feverish, face. That little wisp of cambric was redolent of Bee! of her ...
— Ishmael - In the Depths • Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth

... skin worn off the sole of the other. But there were the lights ahead, and we kept right straight for them, though no matter how far we walked they seemed just the same distance off. It was certainly discouraging, and I could not help thinking of the will-o'-the-wisp, and wondering if the phenomenon was ever seen in the Arctic. I could not remember any instance in my reading, and determined to reach that light or perish in the effort. At last it did seem nearer. We could make ...
— Schwatka's Search • William H. Gilder

... had repented of it directly afterwards. If he had more dash and less shyness in him, less learned coolness and much more humour in his composition, he would reap a better harvest in both pulpit and general life. Mr. Orr is no roaring will o' the wisp minister; what he says he means; and what he means he reads. His prayers and sermons are all read. He is not eloquent, but his language is scholarly, and if he had a freer and more genial expression he would be better appreciated. ...
— Our Churches and Chapels • Atticus

... America, and as she flitted through the door her scarf caught on the knob, and he had been obliged to extricate it. He had known her exactly four hours, and although he was unconscious of it, his heart was being pulled along the passage and up the stairway at the tail-end of that wisp of chiffon, while he listened to her retreating footsteps. Closing the door he came back ...
— Robinetta • Kate Douglas Wiggin

... we beheld lights, not camp lights, but electric lights, and cheered by these, we quickened our pace. Alas! they seemed to play us a sorry game, and mocking, Will-o'-the-Wisp-like, retreated as we advanced. Then, too, we cursed those once blessed electric lights. Finally we reached the outskirts of the town, and seeing a closed store, with rifle butts and threatening tones persuaded ...
— A Yeoman's Letters - Third Edition • P. T. Ross

... being—the soul, in fact, as distinct from the body, in which all but materialists believe—that this has no permanent existence, but melts away by degrees till it becomes an irresponsible, purposeless nothing—a will-o'-the-wisp in fact? I think I heard of some theory of the kind lately in a French book, but it shocked and repelled me so that I tried to forget it. Just as well, better, believe that we are nothing but ...
— Four Ghost Stories • Mrs. Molesworth

... unattainable Causses. Our project at last began to wear the look of a nightmare, a harassing, feverish dream. We seemed to be fascinated hither and thither by an ignis fatuus, enticed into quagmires and quicksands by an altogether illusive, mocking, malicious Will-o'-the- wisp. ...
— The Roof of France • Matilda Betham-Edwards

... to reach the shore, but it was all in vain. The waves, racing and tumbling over each other, knocked him about as if he had been a stick or a wisp of straw. At last, fortunately for him, a billow rolled up with such fury and impetuosity that he was lifted up and thrown ...
— Pinocchio - The Tale of a Puppet • C. Collodi

... 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, ...
— From Edinburgh to India & Burmah • William G. Burn Murdoch

... the days of Dr. Johnson has been oftener brought before us in biographies, essays, letters, etc., than Charles Lamb. His stammering speech, his gaiter-clad legs,—"almost immaterial legs," Hood called them,—his frail wisp of a body, topped by a head "worthy of Aristotle," his love of punning, of the Indian weed, and, alas! of the kindly production of the juniper-berry (he was not, he owned, "constellated under Aquarius"), his antiquarianism of taste, and relish of the crotchets ...
— The Best Letters of Charles Lamb • Charles Lamb

... the pale sky above a headland far to the southward. As I stared at this it became black and distinct, tossed about in the wind. I watched intently, clinging to my support, scarcely trusting my eyesight, while that first wisp deepened into a cloud, advancing slowly toward me. There was no longer doubt of what it was—unquestionably some steamer was pushing its course up stream. Even before my ears could detect the far-off chug of the engine, the boat itself rounded the sharp point of the headland, and came forth ...
— The Devil's Own - A Romance of the Black Hawk War • Randall Parrish

... boys. He's a raspy old fellow; but he's such a little, old, withered wisp of a chap, you'll ...
— Dab Kinzer - A Story of a Growing Boy • William O. Stoddard

... figure of a man, massive of build and sinister of face. His jet-black eyebrows met in the center of his scowling forehead, and under them gleamed eyes cold and dangerous. A thin wisp of a dark mustache contrasted with the quick gleam of his strong, white teeth. On the rare occasions when he laughed, his mirth was like the ...
— Kid Wolf of Texas - A Western Story • Ward M. Stevens

... 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

... Nibelungen," and have its special home like Bayreuth; and it may have been a belief that his project would excite the sympathetic zeal of the devout Jew and pious Christian alike, as much as his lack of the capacity for self-criticism, which led him like a will-o'-the-wisp along the path which led into the bogs ...
— A Second Book of Operas • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... born to a gentle family in the Calendar of Monteith, and was celebrated even in boyhood for his feats of strength and daring. While still at school he could hold a hundredweight at arm's-length, and crumple up a horseshoe like a wisp of hay. The fleetest runner, the most desperate fighter in the country, he was already famous before his name was besmirched with crime, and he might have been immortalised as the Hercules of the seventeenth century, had not his ambition been otherwise flattered. At the ...
— A Book of Scoundrels • Charles Whibley

... did not complete the sentence. From the distance a single shot rang out, and as all turned they saw, standing on the sharp horizon line, a solitary figure, from near which arose a thin wisp of smoke. ...
— The Boy Ranchers Among the Indians - or, Trailing the Yaquis • Willard F. Baker

... followed her about like a dog ever since he could run; in fact, the only taming he had ever had, had been done by Ramona, with bread and honey. He was intractable to others; but Ramona could guide him by a wisp of his silky mane. Alessandro also had nearly as complete control over him; for it had been one of his greatest pleasures, during the summer, when he could not see Ramona, to caress and fondle her horse, till Baba knew and loved him next to his young mistress. If only Baba were in the corral, ...
— Ramona • Helen Hunt Jackson

... 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 ...
— The Heart's Kingdom • Maria Thompson Daviess

... softly as I could, although it seemed as if water never had been so still before. It appeared impossible that anything uncanny should hide beneath that lovely mirror; and yet when some floating wisp of reeds suddenly coiled itself around my neck, or some unknown thing, drifting deeper, coldly touched my foot, it caused that undefinable shudder which every swimmer knows, and which especially comes over one by night. Sometimes a slight ...
— Army Life in a Black Regiment • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... Till it hath bells on as a fool's cap hath. Nay, who will have it? no man take it up? Was there none worthy to be shamed but I? Here are enow good faces, good to crown; Will you be king, fair brother? or you, my lord? Give me a spinner's curch, a wisp of reed, Any mean thing; but, God's love, no more gold, And no more shame: let boys throw dice for it, Or cast it to the grooms for tennis-play, For ...
— Chastelard, a Tragedy • Algernon Charles Swinburne

... 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 ...
— The Mystery • Stewart Edward White and Samuel Hopkins Adams

... who, in their excitement and activity, resembled good-humoured, brown demons, there were many other figures in English dress moving about, directing and encouraging, running from point to point, flitting to and fro like wills-o'-the-wisp, for all bore lights, and plunged ever and anon out of sight in the trench. Between three and four o'clock the work was completed; tests were taken, the portion of cable was pronounced perfect, and communication ...
— The Battery and the Boiler - Adventures in Laying of Submarine Electric Cables • R.M. Ballantyne

... a faded white lace parasol with pink bows; a pair of soiled grey peau de suede gloves, and a little black wisp of a spotted ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... velvet, put on a table two pieces of wood; place between them, bottom side up, three very hot flat-irons, and over them lay a wet cloth; hold the velvet over the cloth, with the wrong side down; when thoroughly steamed, brush the pile with a light wisp, and the velvet will look as good ...
— The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887) - The Whole Comprising A Comprehensive Cyclopedia Of Information For - The Home • Mrs. F.L. Gillette

... from the helicopter. On the heels of the 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 ...
— The Return • H. Beam Piper and John J. McGuire

... time Dennis saw many things: the slanting rain on our helmets, the wisp of fog that rolled lazily between him and that Homeric combat. He recognised his brother, half a head taller than anybody else, thrusting and hewing like a hero of old, and Littlewood working a Lewis gun on the top of the sandbags, the shots just ...
— With Haig on the Somme • D. H. Parry

... the jury had. He was a dried-out wisp of a man wrinkled like a winter pippin. "Was your uncle engaged to be married at the time of his ...
— Tangled Trails - A Western Detective Story • William MacLeod Raine

... effort and attempt to crush this insolent devil; or he might jerk his head around and catch Perris with his teeth. A third and better thought, however, immediately followed—that bound as he was he would have little chance to reach this elusive will-o'-the-wisp. He could not repress a quiver of horror and anger, but beyond that he did ...
— Alcatraz • Max Brand

... took one from his case and gave it to him. Then, striking a match, held it for him, till the wisp of paper and tobacco was well alight; while he lay back, drawing in the fragrant smoke, with a sigh in which contentment and ...
— Captain Desmond, V.C. • Maud Diver

... on a wharf one bright October day awaiting the arrival of an ocean steamer with an impatience which found a vent in lively skirmishes with a small lad, who pervaded the premises like a will-o'-the-wisp and afforded much amusement to the ...
— Rose in Bloom - A Sequel to "Eight Cousins" • Louisa May Alcott

... had the centre of the Stock Exchange stage. All day long they tossed Sugar from one to another as though each thousand shares had been a wisp of hay instead of $200,000—for soon after the opening it soared to 200. The "System's" cohorts were in absolute control, with Barry Conant never a minute away from the Sugar-pole, always on the alert to steer the course of prices when they threatened to run away on the up or the down side. It was ...
— Friday, the Thirteenth • Thomas W. Lawson

... But there it is," he sighed, and was himself surprised at the feeling of depression which came over him. "Even the most earnest investigation of the kind resolves itself always, after a while, into a kind of will-o'-the-wisp that leads no-whither." ...
— From Out the Vasty Deep • Mrs. Belloc Lowndes

... and within an hour, as we ran down upon it at something like eight knots, the Island began to take shape. A wisp of morning fog floated horizontally across it, dividing its shore-line from the hills in the interior, which, looming above this cloudy base, appeared considerably higher than, in fact, they were. The ...
— Poison Island • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch (Q)

... with pleasure. It was on the counter, a little white wisp in the grey-sheeted gloom. Stifford must have found it on the ...
— Clayhanger • Arnold Bennett

... 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 pair of ...
— Stories By English Authors: Germany • Various

... from Puck to Will-o'-the-wisp, are apt to play practical jokes and knock people about whom they meet after sunset. A dozen tales of such were rife, and folks were more amused than amazed by ...
— Tales from Many Sources - Vol. V • Various

... let dangle. The chance light of some shy eye had touched and then eluded him. I believe he loved the chase more than the quarry. He knew he must go a-hunting from that moment in which the light began to play will-o'-the-wisp; for action was his meat and dominion what he breathed. If you wanted to make Galors dangerous you had to set him on a vanishing trail. The girl had been a fool to run, but how was she to ...
— The Forest Lovers • Maurice Hewlett

... slowly from his chair, still keeping his eyes steadily fixed upon it, and moved toward it, with his hands outstretched. He did not get any nearer to it; it was retreating before him, like a will-o'-the-wisp. He kept on, crossing the length of the room; it seemed to pass through the substance of the door, and yet he saw it beyond. He opened the door softly; yes, there it was in the hall. A pistol was lying on the little table beside the door, which Richard knew to be loaded. Mechanically, ...
— Archibald Malmaison • Julian Hawthorne

... Valley, spread like a silver-etched map far below in the moonlight. The flare and sough of the furnace at the iron-works came and went with regular intermittency; and just beyond the group of Chiawassee stacks a tiny orange spot appeared and disappeared like a will-o'-the-wisp. He was staring down at the curious spot when ...
— The Quickening • Francis Lynde

... Jon. Nothing but the general hard times and hay shortage. Every farmer at the end of his tether, or almost there, no one with as much as a wisp of hay to spare, and only a few likely to make ...
— Seven Icelandic Short Stories • Various

... picking and dressing them very carefully about the fetlocks, so as to remove all gravel and dust which will sometimes lie in the bending of the joints." In addition to the practice of this old writer, modern grooms add wisping, which usually follows brushing. The best wisp is made from a hayband, untwisted, and again doubled up after being moistened with water: this is applied to every part of the body, as the brushing had been, by changing the hands, taking care in all these operations to carry the hand in the direction of the coat. Stains ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... From mere and holt and hollow rose amain The haunters of the silence; from the streams And wells of water, from the country demes, From plough and pasture, bottom, ridge and crest The rustic Gods rose up and joined the rest. Like a long wisp of cloud from out his banks Streamed Xanthos, that swift river, to the ranks Of flying shapes; and driven by that same mind That urged him to it came Simoeis behind, And other Gods and other, of stream and tree And hill and vale—for nothing there can be On earth or under Heaven, but hath ...
— Helen Redeemed and Other Poems • Maurice Hewlett

... wisp Of day's distraction thine enchantment mar; Thy soft spell lisp And lure the sweetness down of each blue star. Then let that low moan be A while more easeful, trembling remote and strange, far oversea; So shall ...
— Poems New and Old • John Freeman

... eyes to the future that Maggie and I must prove, But the only light on the marshes is the Will-o'-the-Wisp of Love. ...
— The Works of Rudyard Kipling One Volume Edition • Rudyard Kipling

... o'clock, Hans Goerner, the rural guard, having been ordered to bring the prisoner to the town house for another examination, repaired to the cooler with four husky daredevils. They opened the door, all of them curious to look upon the Will-o'-the-wisp. But imagine their astonishment upon seeing him hanging from the bars of the window by his necktie! Some said that he was still writhing; others that he was already stiff. However that may be, they ran to Petrus Mauerer's ...
— Library of the World's Best Mystery and Detective Stories • Edited by Julian Hawthorne

... fireplace, in the horse-hair arm-chair where Mrs Verloc's mother was generally privileged to sit, Karl Yundt giggled grimly, with a faint black grimace of a toothless mouth. The terrorist, as he called himself, was old and bald, with a narrow, snow-white wisp of a goatee hanging limply from his chin. An extraordinary expression of underhand malevolence survived in his extinguished eyes. When he rose painfully the thrusting forward of a skinny groping hand deformed by gouty swellings suggested the ...
— The Secret Agent - A Simple Tale • Joseph Conrad

... would be apt to make people cough, and, besides, phosphorus is a dangerous thing to handle incautiously, and I do not want to suggest anything which might be productive of disaster if the experiment was repeated at home. A little wisp of hay, slightly damped and lighted, will safely yield a sufficient supply, and you need not have an elaborate box like this; any kind of old packing-case, or even a bandbox with a duster stretched across its open top and a round hole cut in the bottom, will answer capitally. While I have ...
— Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20) - Wonders of Earth, Sea and Sky • Various

... appear upon the scene is Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, whose brilliant mercurial figure flashes for a moment across the wild and troubled stage of Ireland, only the next to vanish like some Will-o'-the-wisp into an ...
— The Story Of Ireland • Emily Lawless

... landing he had noticed to the southward and on the other side of the peninsula a faint, dark line against the edge of the sunset. Few, even with an eye good enough to see it, would have taken it for anything but a wisp of cloud, but the physical sense of Henry Ware, so acute that it bordered ...
— The Free Rangers - A Story of the Early Days Along the Mississippi • Joseph A. Altsheler

... savages know how to cup: they commonly use a piece ofa horn as the cup, and they either suck at a hole in the top of the horn, to produce the necessary vacuum, or they make a blaze as we do, but with a wisp of grass. ...
— The Art of Travel - Shifts and Contrivances Available in Wild Countries • Francis Galton

... 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 ...
— Stop Look and Dig • George O. Smith

... the word "home" first began to have a real meaning for these gypsy wanderers, lured on as they had been half round the world in their quest of the will-o'-the-wisp, health. Having bought the land, which lay on rising ground about three miles from the town of Apia, it was then necessary to find the money to build a house on it. After some thought, Mrs. Stevenson suggested that they ...
— The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson • Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez

... these hectic flesh coverings. Certainly not the enormously rich ... they didn't buy their provocative draperies from show windows. And even the comfortably off might pause, she thought, before throwing a couple of hundred dollars into a wisp of veiling that didn't reach much below the knees and would look like a weather-beaten cobweb after the second wearing. With all this talk about profiteering and economy and the high cost of living, even Helen Starratt ...
— Broken to the Plow • Charles Caldwell Dobie

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

... She paused, in a shade of doubt, then smiled a faint apology: "It isn't very much of a breakfas', darlin', but we'll make believe it's waffles an' chicken an'—an' hot rolls an' batter-bread an'—an' everything." She rose to her little bare feet, holding her wisp of a skirt aside, and made a sweeping bow. "Allow me, Miss Jemima, to make you a mos' ...
— The Littlest Rebel • Edward Peple

... neighbors did not spare him. There is a tradition in those parts which denies rest in the grave to a person killed by accident. Old Mergel had thus become the ghost of the forest of Brede; as a will o' the wisp he led a drunken man into the pond by a hair; the shepherd boys, when they crouched by their fires at night and the owls screeched in the hollows, sometimes heard quite clearly in broken accents his "Just listen, sweet Lizzie;" and an unprivileged woodman who had fallen asleep under the broad ...
— The German Classics of The Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Vol. VII. • Various

... that your dear-loved Scotia puts it in your power to return to the situation of your forefathers, will you follow these will-o'-wisp meteors of fancy and whim, till they bring you once more to the brink of ruin? I grant that the utmost ground you can occupy is but half a step from the veriest poverty; but still it is half a step from it. If all that I can urge be ineffectual, ...
— The Letters of Robert Burns • Robert Burns

... ladylike manner. Right now I start in bantin' and dietin' in the scientific-est manner an' the way I can lose three or four hundred pounds when I set out to do it is something grand. It won't be no time at all until I'm thin and wisp-like, an' Mr. Dorgan will be glad to get rid ...
— Philo Gubb Correspondence-School Detective • Ellis Parker Butler

... led me through a short passage, and then, striking a match, lit a big old-fashioned lantern. As the light fell upon her features I saw they were thin and hard, with deep-set eyes and a stray wisp of silver across her wrinkled brow. Around her head was a kind of hood of the same stuff as her dress, a black, coarse woolen, while around her neck was a broad linen collar. In an instant I recognized that she was a member of some ...
— The Czar's Spy - The Mystery of a Silent Love • William Le Queux

... remote northern parts of England the farmer lights a wisp of straw, which he carries round his fields to protect them from the tare and darnel, the devil and witches. In some places they used to cover a wheel with straw, set it on fire, and roll it down a hill. A learned writer on antiquities tells us that the people imagined that all their ill-luck ...
— Old English Sports • Peter Hampson Ditchfield

... particular stimulus of his inspiration; while in other works he has contented himself with the suggestion of a mood or subject embodied in his title, as, for example, in his "Woodland Sketches,"—"To a Wild Rose," "Will o' the Wisp," "At an Old Trysting Place," "In Autumn," "From an Indian Lodge," "To a Water-Lily," "A Deserted Farm." That he has been tempted, however, in the direction of the compromise to which I have alluded, is evident from the fact that although his symphonic ...
— Edward MacDowell • Lawrence Gilman

... the work 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 curtain rises upon a rustic ...
— The Standard Operas (12th edition) • George P. Upton

... cluttered with gold-hunters, greedy, undesirable interlopers doomed to disappointment in the long run. Ward had seen the gold fever sweep through a community and spoil life for the weak ones who took to chasing the will-o'-the-wisp of sudden wealth. Tramps of the pick-and-pan brigade—they should not come swarming into these hills on any wild-goose chase, if he could help it. And he could and should. This was not, properly speaking, a gold country. He knew it. The rock formations ...
— The Ranch at the Wolverine • B. M. Bower

... We are the wisp of straw, the plaything of the winds. We think that we are making for a goal deliberately chosen; destiny drives us towards another. Mathematics, the exaggerated preoccupation of my youth, did me hardly any service; and animals, which I avoided as much ...
— The Life of the Fly - With Which are Interspersed Some Chapters of Autobiography • J. Henri Fabre

... his own conviction that literature was his destiny; the tripos faded into the background, replaced by the more splendid vision of seeing an accepted article from his pen in a real London magazine; he gave frantic chase to the will o' the wisp of literary fame, which so many pursue all their lives in vain, fortunate if it comes at last to flicker for ...
— The Giant's Robe • F. Anstey

... Lord was 'going up,' the crowd were more than usually anxious and talkative. There was one little man in faded black, with a dirty face and a rusty black neckerchief with a red border, tied in a narrow wisp round his neck, who entered into conversation with everybody, and had something to say upon every remark that was made within his hearing. He was standing with his arms folded, staring up at the balloon, ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... where Grosley thought he saw him, during the French Revolution? Was he known to Lord Lytton about 1860? Was he then Major Fraser? Is he the mysterious Muscovite adviser of the Dalai Lama? Who knows? He is a will-o'-the-wisp of the memoir-writers of the eighteenth century. Whenever you think you have a chance of finding him in good authentic State papers, he gives you the slip; and if his existence were not vouched for by Horace Walpole, I should incline ...
— The Lock and Key Library/Real Life #2 • Julian Hawthorne

... munched stolidly away at his oats. She put the tempting wisp against his nose, at which he laid back his ears and looked vicious. She turned to Mr. Yocomb, and the old barn echoed to a laugh that was music itself ...
— A Day Of Fate • E. P. Roe

... the little door-step; his shoulders were pressed to my breast; I hugged him from behind desperately. Oh! he was heavy, heavy; heavier than any man on earth, I should imagine. Then without more ado I tipped him overboard. The current snatched him as though he had been a wisp of grass, and I saw the body roll over twice before I lost sight of it for ever. All the pilgrims and the manager were then congregated on the awning-deck about the pilot-house, chattering at each other ...
— Heart of Darkness • Joseph Conrad

... visions of rooks cawing in the elms; of young curates in flat hats imbibing tea on green lawns; of housekeepers named Meadows or Fleming, in rustling black silk; of old Giles—fifty years, man and boy, on the place—wearing a smock frock and leaning on a pitchfork, with a wisp of hay caught in the tines, lamenting that the 'All 'asn't been the same, zur, since the young marster was killed ridin' to 'ounds; and then pensively wiping his eyes on a stray strand ...
— Europe Revised • Irvin S. Cobb

... began eagerly but before his story was half finished his sentences were broken and finally ended abruptly. Roger was fast asleep. Charley, with a soft kiss on his hair, rose from the cramped position on her knees and went into the house. In a short time the adobe was in darkness and Peter, with a wisp of alfalfa on which he chewed meditatively, hanging from his mouth, leaned his gray head on the corral bars ...
— The Forbidden Trail • Honore Willsie

... She was touching her fringe, giving little pats and pulls to her dress, preparatory to descent, and Sophia whispered, 'Just see, Caroline, that wisp of hair near my ear—so tiresome! I can never be sure ...
— THE MISSES MALLETT • E. H. YOUNG

... time, however, the bell-rope wore thin, and some ingenious citizen fastened a wisp of hay to it, that this might serve as a handle. One day in the height of summer, when the deserted square was blazing with sunlight, and most of the citizens were taking their noonday rest, their siesta was disturbed by the violent ...
— The Junior Classics Volume 8 - Animal and Nature Stories • Selected and arranged by William Patten

... 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 Market, ...
— Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II. • Pierce Egan

... one deserted camp to another, it began to seem a will-o'-the-wisp business, an elusive dream, a long fruitless chasing after what would escape and leave us to perish at last in this desert. But the slender yellow-haired man at the head of the column had an indomitable ...
— The Price of the Prairie - A Story of Kansas • Margaret Hill McCarter

... out of his dream, for the object of it stood smiling at his side. A wisp of hair was blowing across her eyes and she was endeavoring to adjust it ...
— A Splendid Hazard • Harold MacGrath

... lift that box for ony sake, man. Sall, ye 're no' feared," as Carmichael, thirsting for action, swung it up unaided; and then, catching sight of the merest wisp of white, "A' didna see ye were a minister, an' the word cam ...
— Kate Carnegie and Those Ministers • Ian Maclaren

... never once entered Jervis Whitney's mind that so fantastic a thing as a pair of red moccasins was to be found in the Old Dominion, or anywhere else outside of a monkey show, though he might search the world, with a will-o'-the-wisp, from Big Bone Lick to the Land of Nod. So, in saying, "let me but find them, and you shall have them," he thought he was hazarding his word no more than were he to say: "Let the man in the moon but give me the moon, and the moon, my boy, ...
— The Red Moccasins - A Story • Morrison Heady

... boys, gesticulating, walked one after the other clean through him! Neither manifested the slightest consciousness of his presence. It is difficult to imagine the sensation he felt. They came against him, he says, with no more force than a wisp of mist. ...
— The Country of the Blind, And Other Stories • H. G. Wells

... out to him upon the palm of her plump hand a tiny roll of paper, tied with a wisp ...
— A Bachelor's Dream • Mrs. Hungerford

... stepped now on one foot and now on another, and pressed close against the sledge, turning his back to the wind and rubbing his head on Nikita's sleeve. Then, as if not to pain Nikita by refusing his offer of the straw he put before him, he hurriedly snatched a wisp out of the sledge, but immediately decided that it was now no time to think of straw and threw it down, and the wind instantly scattered it, carried it away, ...
— Master and Man • Leo Tolstoy

... was hateful, blasphemous, sordid, inhuman, and unpatriotic. To the enlightened altruistic bourgeois—to the poverty-stricken workingman of the city—to many a dreamer and philanthropist—to all the extreme radicals, they were but a shadowy will-of-the-wisp that glimmered briefly and perhaps indicated faintly the gorgeousness of the great day that much later might break upon them. Between these extremes of reaction and radicalism fell the bulk of the bourgeoisie and of ...
— A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. • Carlton J. H. Hayes

... short, stout, little gentleman, about five and a half feet high, with a very red face, black hair, and black eyes. You are to suppose him to possess a very gay and animated countenance, and you are to see in him all the restlessness of a will-o'-wisp ... He enters a room with a countenance so satisfied, and a step so light and almost fantastic, that all your previous impressions of the dignity and severity of the 'Edinburgh Review' are immediately put to flight ... It is not possible, however, to ...
— The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals, Volume 2. • Lord Byron

... hand at poetry. Nor was he romantic to look at, but thin, and sinewy, and one-eyed, and some dried up, clean shaven except for a wisp of greyish whisker on his chin, and always neatly dressed now. When he'd laugh to himself, the wrinkles would spread around his eyes, one blind, and the other calm and calculating, and absent-minded. He'd sit with his cigar tilted up in one ...
— The Belted Seas • Arthur Colton

... his own will-o'-the-wisp philosophy, looking very handsome and care-free there where the noon sun slanted across the white arcade all thick ...
— The Firing Line • Robert W. Chambers

... his protests and, returning to the parlour, gazed fiercely into the glass on the mantelpiece. It reflected sixteen stone of honest English womanhood, a thin wisp of yellowish-grey hair, and a pair of faded eyes peering through ...
— Night Watches • W.W. Jacobs

... faint stars glimmer; The moon, that was a pallid ghost, Hung low on the horizon, faint and lost, Comes up, a full and splendid golden round By black and sharp-cut foliage overcrossed. The girls laugh and whisper now with hardly a sound Till all sound vanishes, dispersed in the night, Like a wisp of cloud that fades in the moon's light, And the garden grows silent and the shadows grow Deeper and blacker below The mysteriously moving and murmuring trees, That stand out darkly against the star-luminous ...
— Georgian Poetry 1918-19 • Various

... first noticed the small grasshopper, which at their appearance had skipped off the Scarecrow's nose and was now clinging to a wisp of grass beside the path, where he was not likely to be stepped upon. Not until the Scarecrow had been neatly restuffed and set upon his feet again—when he bowed to his restorers and expressed his thanks—did the grasshopper move from his perch. Then he leaped lightly into the ...
— The Scarecrow of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... each ear, and pulled at his neck, at the same time turning his head in the right direction. There came a snap, and the neck was straight. She then began to stroke it with gentle yet firm hand. In a few moments he began to breathe. As soon as she saw his chest move, she called for a wisp of hay, and having shaped it a little, drew herself from under his head, substituting the hay. Then rising without a word she walked from the yard. Stopchase lay for a while, gradually coming to himself, then scrambled all at once to his feet, and staggered to his pitchfork, which lay where ...
— St. George and St. Michael • George MacDonald

... asseverations of freedom and equality were its only blessings claimed; and the commission of overt acts, beyond those named, were rare enough to prove the rule of force of habit. Lured from old service for a time, most of them followed not far the gaudy and shining Will-o'-the-Wisp; and almost all—especially the household and personal servants—soon returned to "Ole Mas'r" once more, sadder and wiser for the futile chase after freedom's joys. But, even these were partly spoiled and rendered of far less practical use to ...
— Four Years in Rebel Capitals - An Inside View of Life in the Southern Confederacy from Birth to Death • T. C. DeLeon

... by all the gods, I am at my wit's end. I'm beginning not to care who this owner is. Be he man, will-of-the-wisp, or the devil Beelzebub in ...
— The German Classics Of The Nineteenth And Twentieth Centuries, Volume 12 • Various

... blue will-o'-the-wisp, a glitter in the cunning lights, she led him to a far end of the room where many cushions were, There she turned on him with a snake-like suddenness that was one of her ...
— Winds of the World • Talbot Mundy

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

... straw figures joined together and reclining side by side: a straw man and a straw woman. The workmanship is childishly clumsy; but still, the woman can be distinguished from the man by .the ingenious attempt to imitate the female coiffure with a straw wisp. And as the man is represented with a queue—now worn only by aged survivors of the feudal era—I suspect that this kitoja-no-mono was made after some ...
— Glimpses of an Unfamiliar Japan • Lafcadio Hearn

... greater than that produced by any chemical combination such as the union of oxygen and hydrogen to form water. From the heavy white salt there is continually rising a faint fire-mist like the will-o'-the-wisp over a swamp. This gas is known as the emanation or niton, "the shining one." A pound of niton would give off energy at the rate of 23,000 horsepower; fine stuff to run a steamer, one would think, but we must remember that it does not last. By the sixth day the power would have fallen off by half. ...
— Creative Chemistry - Descriptive of Recent Achievements in the Chemical Industries • Edwin E. Slosson

... she cried; "sure you're just as anxious as I am to know. We all think a lot of Fred and Mrs. Fred," she went on, bringing in two big dishes of potatoes; "and if you could see that poor, precious lamb trying to cook pork and beans with a little wisp of an apron on, all lace and ribbons, and big diamonds on her fingers, you'd be sorry for her, and you'd say, 'What kind of an old tyrant is the old man down beyant, and why don't he take her and Fred back?' It's not wrastlin' round black pots she should be, and she's ...
— The Black Creek Stopping-House • Nellie McClung

... a thin, but rather long, gray beard; and while shearing one of the sheep, either in revenge for its cuts, or else, as is more likely, mistaking Peter's beard for a wisp of hay, it made a fitful grab at it and tweaked away a small mouthful. Peter cried out angrily and continued scolding in an undertone about it for some minutes. This vastly amused Addison, who chanced to see the incident. ...
— When Life Was Young - At the Old Farm in Maine • C. A. Stephens

... vessel. Just such a baby Bellini sets languid on his mother's lap, or Signorelli flings wriggling on pavements of marble, or Lorenzo di Credi, more reverent but less divine, lays carefully among flowers, with his head upon a wisp of golden straw. For a time Gino contemplated them standing. Then, to get a better view, he knelt by the side of the chair, with ...
— Where Angels Fear to Tread • E. M. Forster

... guess that I entered the assembly below by the secret door and made them believe I was Trokoff!... It leaves a way open for future transactions!... Some day, not so far ahead, I may return, may find that devil's Will o' the Wisp of a bandit there and nab him at last!"... Did Michel suspect there were ...
— A Nest of Spies • Pierre Souvestre

... Not an ounce of the traditional dignity about her. Lady Bridget gave the impression of an old-fashioned, precocious child, dressed up in a picture frock of soft shining white stuff, hanging on a straight slender form and gathered into a girdle at the waist, with a wisp of old lace flung carelessly over the slight shoulders. She stood for a moment or two on the half landing, then, as the aide-de-camp murmured in the Governor's ear at the foot of the stairs, she came ...
— Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land • Rosa Praed

... haughty sparkle when she pleased, and when she pleased a soft languor circled them. Excitement had dyed her cheeks deep red. He was a youth, and she an enchantress. He a hero; she a female will-o'-the-wisp. ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... park came repeated notes from the horn, the baying of hounds, and the screams that celebrate with orthodox excitement the death of a fox. The rat-hunt was over. Joker lifted his spare, aristocratic head from the grass, and listened, with a wisp of dewy green stuff in his mouth. Christian looked at her watch. It was early still, not eight o'clock. A grey horse and its rider came forth from the dark grove of laurels. Larry was looking for her. She sighed; she did not know why. She thought of ...
— Mount Music • E. Oe. Somerville and Martin Ross

... and rise again before existence could become endurable under the new squalid condition of life without her. It was no wonder then if her behaviour sometimes angered him; for even against a Will o' the Wisp that has enticed us into a swamp, a glow of foolish indignation will spring up. And now a black fire in his eyes answered the blue flash in hers; and the difference suggests the diversity of their loves: hers might vanish in fierce explosion, his would go on burning like a coal mine. ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... anticipating what is coming, as something which will make them happy when they get it, are, in spite of their very clever airs, exactly like those donkeys one sees in Italy, whose pace may be hurried by fixing a stick on their heads with a wisp of hay at the end of it; this is always just in front of them, and they keep on trying to get it. Such people are in a constant state of illusion as to their whole existence; they go on living ad interim, ...
— Counsels and Maxims - From The Essays Of Arthur Schopenhauer • Arthur Schopenhauer

... had him under his thumb, he made superhuman efforts to understand his nephew's character and to win his confidence. The poor gentleman might just as well have tried to understand the character of an asymptote, or to win the confidence of a Will-o'-the-wisp; and nothing but misery can come of it when a middle-aged city merchant, born without even a rudimentary sense of humour, suddenly determines to cultivate that gift for the benefit of a boy who can detect humour in the wording of ...
— Audrey Craven • May Sinclair

... came to Germany in the eighth century) became associated with this Witches' Sabbath, as the 1st of May was sacred to her. To this midnight orgy of the Walpurgisnacht Mephistopheles takes Faust.... They are lighted on their toilsome ascent of the Blocksberg by a will-o'-the-wisp. A vast multitude of witches and goblins are flocking to the summit; the midnight air resounds with their shrieks and jabberings; weird lights flash from every quarter, revealing thronging swarms of ghoulish shapes and dancing Hexen. The trees themselves are ...
— The Faust-Legend and Goethe's 'Faust' • H. B. Cotterill

... strikes your fancy. I want you in especial to attack them with regard to the aesthetic craze which is so much in fashion now. If you like to show them that they look absolutely foolish in their greenery-yallery gowns, and their hair done up in a wisp, and all the rest of the thing, why, do so; then you can throw in a note about a ...
— The Time of Roses • L. T. Meade

... and girls, they had heard it in musical laughter and in silly giggles, they had seen it express itself in tragedy and comedy and watched it end in union or in a nothingness which melted away like a wisp of fog. But they knew it was a thing omnipresent and that no one passed through life untouched by it ...
— The Head of the House of Coombe • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... her out two dozen upon the moss of the rock-ledge, unwinding the wisp of hay from each as it came safe out of my pocket. Lorna looked with growing wonder, as I added one to one; and when I had placed them side by side, and bidden her now to tell them, to my amazement what did she do but burst ...
— Lorna Doone - A Romance of Exmoor • R. D. Blackmore

... ye be a pair of rude curs, barking from a warm kennel at your betters, who are shivering in the cold, without so much as a bone to pick, or a wisp of straw to their tails! Well, well, 'tis soon said; every dog, you know,—and 'twill be my turn soon. I come hither from the castle at Halton, where my Lady Fitz-Eustace would lay your curs' noses to the grinding-stone; but, rest her soul, she will not long be above ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... pounds of round steak into small dice, rejecting all skin and fat. Put it into a glass fruit jar with one cup of cold water. Cover the can sufficiently tight to prevent any water from boiling in, and place it on a wisp of straw or a muffin ring in a kettle of cold water. Heat very gradually, and keep it just below the boiling point for two or more hours; or, place the can in a deep dish of hot water, and cook in a moderate oven for three hours. Allow ...
— Science in the Kitchen. • Mrs. E. E. Kellogg

... lonely gibbet we saw that a dried-up wisp of a thing which could hardly be recognised as having once been a human being was dangling from the centre of it. This wretched relic of mortality was secured to the cross-bar by an iron chain, and flapped drearily backwards and forwards in the summer ...
— Micah Clarke - His Statement as made to his three Grandchildren Joseph, - Gervas and Reuben During the Hard Winter of 1734 • Arthur Conan Doyle

... 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 woman of ...
— In Kedar's Tents • Henry Seton Merriman

... the bit. It was as a wisp of hay in his mouth. I might as well have been a monkey or a straw woman bobbing up and down on his back. Pound, pound, thump, thump, gaily sped on the Great Goer. There were dim shouts far behind me for a while, then no more. The roadside whipped by, two ...
— A Woman Tenderfoot • Grace Gallatin Seton-Thompson

... guilty sense that she had not made her protest loudly and, perhaps, cleverly enough. Life had behaved very meanly to this woman. When she was young and sweet her sweetness had been violated and crushed by something harsh and reckless; and now she was not sweet any longer, but just a wisp of an old woman, and nobody would ever bother about her again; and life gives one no second chances. Yaverland lamented, as Ellen had done, the fate of those exceptional people who are old or not ...
— The Judge • Rebecca West

... blazing braziers lighted them with weird red and flickering flames. In their depths, cast in black and red shadows, toiled half-guessed figures; from their depths, mounting a single steep plank, came an unbroken procession of natives, naked save for a wisp of cloth around the loins. They trod closely on each other's heels, carrying each his basket atop his head or on one shoulder, mounted a gang-plank, discharged their loads into the side of the ship, and descended again to the depths by way of another ...
— African Camp Fires • Stewart Edward White

... of my hotel in Reno. I had not seen her since her marriage; the only difference the years had made, apparently, was that now she was a woman instead of a girl, and yes, there was just a wisp of snowy white hair among the black locks about her forehead, which made her look even more aristocratic, ...
— Reno - A Book of Short Stories and Information • Lilyan Stratton

... the night, the Moors kept regular watch, and frequently looked into the hut, to see if I was asleep, and if it was quite dark, they would light a wisp of grass. About two o'clock in the morning, a Moor entered the hut, probably with a view to steal something, or perhaps to murder me: and groping about, he laid his hand upon my shoulder. As night visitors were at best but suspicious characters, I sprang up the moment he laid his ...
— Life and Travels of Mungo Park in Central Africa • Mungo Park

... quantity. Escalante believed a better road existed to Monterey by way of the north than by the middle route, and a further incentive to journey that way was probably the rumours of large towns in that direction, the same will-o'-the-wisp the Spaniards for nearly three centuries had been vainly pursuing. The authorities had urged two expeditions to Alta California, to establish communication; Garces and Captain Anza had carried out one, and now Escalante was to ...
— The Romance of the Colorado River • Frederick S. Dellenbaugh

... one about here," West insisted. "For this was the house I saw from the ridge, and there was a light burning then in one of the windows, and there was a wisp of smoke rising from a chimney. Perhaps the shutters are all closed, or, early as it is, the ...
— The Case and The Girl • Randall Parrish

... since then given his concerts, beheld Thaddeus, as Robert Macaire, threading the galop with Malaga in the dress of a savage, her head garnished with plumes like the horse of a hearse, and bounding through the crowd like a will-o-the-wisp. ...
— Paz - (La Fausse Maitresse) • Honore de Balzac

... that comes from understanding. Confident as we are that Prometheus captured his fire from Heaven, we ought to learn something of its attributes before we accept it at his hands, that we may be able to distinguish a true spark of the divine flame from a phosphorescent will-o'-the-wisp. ...
— For Every Music Lover - A Series of Practical Essays on Music • Aubertine Woodward Moore

... stolen it to the last wisp and flung it all into the chasm that yawned for hundreds of ...
— The Marvelous Land of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... Higgins. "It just struck me as funny. Looks as if you were hunting for fleas in a wisp of ...
— Philo Gubb Correspondence-School Detective • Ellis Parker Butler

... treating the singular shoulders of Charles-Norton. He was sitting beneath the glow of the evening lamp, his coat off, his shirt pulled down to his elbows; and she, standing behind the chair, was leaning solicitously over him. A wisp of her hair caressed his right ear, but somehow did not relax his temper. "Well, let them alone, Dolly," he growled; "let them alone. Good Lord, ...
— The Trimming of Goosie • James Hopper

... the edge of the wheat-field, and had walked out of her way to try to see them, tramping along in her best shoes, which had shiny copper toes and store-made laces. But when she had reached the wheat, the booming, like a will-o'-the-wisp, had been temptingly farther on; and she had turned back to ...
— The Biography of a Prairie Girl • Eleanor Gates

... in the simplest fashion. Roger felt a rush of slightly ashamed gratitude towards his step-mother, feeling a little reluctantly, as he had done once before, that he had misjudged her. Confused by her kindly impulses he stooped to pick up the wisp of a handkerchief she had let fall to the floor. As he laid it in her lap she uttered a sharp ...
— Juggernaut • Alice Campbell

... he said. "How I used to believe in all it suggested! And how, when I was a young man, my heart was like that 'casement ope at night, to let the warm Love in!' But Love never came,—only a spurious will-o'-the-wisp imitation of Love. I wonder if many people in this world are not equally deceived with myself in their conceptions of this divine passion? All the poets and romancists may be wrong,—and Lucy Sorrel, with her hard materialism encasing ...
— The Treasure of Heaven - A Romance of Riches • Marie Corelli

... of a figwort stalk in the pasture, shielded by a little sprig of choke-cherry and a wisp of grasses, a new nest is being builded. That is why the chewink sings so happily from dawn till dark. His summer song is now heard more often than his spring song. Through April, May and ...
— Some Summer Days in Iowa • Frederick John Lazell

... Northern Cruise. Entrance to the Inner Passage. Arrive at Rockingham Bay. Land Mr. Kennedy's Expedition. Commence the Survey at Dunk Island. Communication with Natives. Barnard Isles. Botanical Sketch. Examine a New River. Frankland Isles. Find the Coconut Palm. Fitzroy Island. The Will-o-the-Wisp and her Story. Trinity Bay. Animals of a Coral Reef. Stay at Lizard Island. Howick, Pelican, and Claremont Isles. Bird Isles. Meet party of Natives in Distress. Cairncross Island. Arrive at ...
— Narrative Of The Voyage Of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, Commanded By The Late Captain Owen Stanley, R.N., F.R.S. Etc. During The Years 1846-1850. Including Discoveries And Surveys In New Guinea, The Louisiade • John MacGillivray

... night-time to work on the trenches. Our rest, fortunately, is really rest. The only things we have to do is to take rations up to the dump for the rest of the battery, draw our own rations, and get our mails from the Field Post Office. I have a fair amount to do. There is a sort of Will o' the Wisp person called the field cashier, from him a whole army corps draws the pay for its men, and he goes to various places. His best game is to hide himself in a wood miles away from anyone, and, then just before you succeed in reaching him, he flits away to the other end of France; it takes about a week ...
— Letters from France • Isaac Alexander Mack

... father, his one longing to get out and away to other countries where he should be his own master and win his own freedom. And now that he was back again, now that he had seen what that freedom meant, now that he had tasted that same will-o'-the-wisp liberty, how thankful he was to rest here quietly, peacefully, for the remainder of his days; at last he knew what were the things that were alone, in this world, worth striving for—not money, ambition, success, but love for one's own little ...
— The Wooden Horse • Hugh Walpole

... match and made a flaring torch of a little wisp of dry grass. Loving a good horse as he did, he felt a sudden and utterly new sort of hatred of Blenham ...
— Man to Man • Jackson Gregory



Words linked to "Wisp" :   packet, tuft, small person, parcel, will-o'-the-wisp, package, flock, snipe



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