To The Northern Lights

By Isaac Gray Blanchard

Ye gorgeous visions of the northern sky,
Mysterious and sublime!
Who lit your brilliant lights on high?
Stream ye alone in idle revelry
Above our cloudy clime,
Without an aim, or nature, more
Than mortal vision can explore?
Or have ye some high, unknown ministry?
Whence sprang ye into birth?
In distant realms unseen?
Or claim ye sisterhood with earth?
And will your strange, ethereal sheen
Fade with her fading green?
Man’s wisdom has not told—
Ye are a mystery,
Which time perhaps shall ne’er unfold;
Philosophy, whose eagle pinion bold
Has conquered space, and brought the planets near
To her inspecting eye,
Has sought in vain to fathom you,
Or tell the office that ye do.
Ye are of latter date—
Say—are ye for a sign,
Lit by the hand divine,
Whence earth should read her coming fate?
Signs shall be set in heaven,
And wonders meet the eye,
And naming prodigies be given
Within the upper sky.
Ye may be such—yet man would be
Most backward thus to interpret ye,
Who glides in blind security
Down Time s exhausting tide;
Puts far away the evil day,
Or dreams that he shall dwell for aye
In all his lust and pride.
Whate’er ye are, ye have an aim,
For He has lit your wondrous flame,
Who fashions not a flower in vain,
And howe’er fruitlessly we pry
Into your inward mystery,
One feature still is plain—
Like as in all His works, sublime or fair,
We trace the glories of the Godhead there!

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