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    Aurora-Borealis

    by Herman Melville
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    Commemorative of the Dissolution of Armies at the Peace.

    (May, 1865.)

    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.
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