What power disbands the Northern Lights After their steely play? The lonely watcher feels an awe Of Nature's sway, As when appearing, He marked their flashed uprearing In the cold gloom -- Retreatings and advancings, (Like dallyings of doom), Transitions and enhancings, And bloody ray. The phantom-host has faded quite, Splendor and Terror gone -- Portent or promise -- and gives way To pale, meek Dawn; The coming, going, Alike in wonder showing -- Alike the God, Decreeing and commanding The million blades that glowed, The muster and disbanding -- Midnight and Morn.
- by Herman Melville (1819 - 1891), "Aurora Borealis", subtitle: "Commemorative of the Dissolution of armies at the Peace (May, 1865)" [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Joseph Eidson , "Aurora Borealis", 2009 [baritone, B-flat clarinet, and piano], from Songs of this War, no. 5. [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2014-01-10
Line count: 22
Word count: 88