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Who or what is this poem referring to?

I come from a cloud.
Some long streaks of light
And a glowing shroud.
But now out of sight.

Seen in the summer,
Despite my nickname.
Many deaths occurred,
But I'm not to blame.

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  • $\begingroup$ The answer is something I'm puking now!? $\endgroup$ – Alex Jul 13 '15 at 15:26
  • $\begingroup$ Lol I misread "Riddle Porn" $\endgroup$ – o0'. Jul 13 '15 at 21:00
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I think it's:

Halley's comet

I come from a cloud:

The article mentions that Halley's comet could have originated from the Oort Cloud if it was a long-period comet at once.

Some long streaks of light and a glowing shroud

This is the contrails and "shield" that develop in front and behind, respectively, of the comet itself.

But now out of sight.

Halley's comet passed at a relative speed of 70.56 km/s when it passed in 1910.

Seen in the summer, despite my nickname:

thanks to Geobit's advice, comets are normally referred to as "dirty snowballs".

Many deaths occurred, but I'm not to blame.

this site claims that Halley's comet was the cause of the Middle Ages plague, which killed many. Also, comets were seen as heralds of death in those times, as a simple Google search will show.


Note from pacoverflow (since comments sometimes disappear):

Halley's comet is an acceptable answer. I was thinking about Comet Hale-Bopp and the Heaven's Gate cult. Hale-Bopp is interesting because it has three long streaks of light (tails) instead of the usual two that comets have.

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  • $\begingroup$ You are close - it's not Halley's comet that I had in mind. Also hail/winter isn't the nickname. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Jul 13 '15 at 16:46
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    $\begingroup$ Comets in general fit pretty well. Nickname is "dirty snowball". The other clues don't really need to be changed. $\endgroup$ – Set Big O Jul 13 '15 at 18:43
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, I think it might really be referring to the Eta Aquariids meteor shower, with nickname Aqua, but I don't think the "death" part fits then... $\endgroup$ – Nyk 232 Jul 13 '15 at 18:46
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    $\begingroup$ Geobits is right about "dirty snowball". I wasn't aware of the connection between Halley's comet and death, so I can accept that as an answer. I was thinking Comet Hale-Bopp and Heaven's Gate. I should have said "three long streaks" to narrow it down to Hale-Bopp. It has three tails instead of the usual two: sirius.bu.edu/planetary/cometc.gif $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Jul 13 '15 at 19:04
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    $\begingroup$ @pacoverflow true, and most sites I read claim that the Oort cloud is only hypothetical right now, not proven. $\endgroup$ – Nyk 232 Jul 13 '15 at 19:13
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Very similar to Nyk 232, but a little more general:

A meteor

I come from a cloud.

Often originate in a cloud of space debris

Some long streaks of light

Meteors look like streaks of light as they burn up in the atmosphere.

And a glowing shroud.

Again, light as they fall.

But now out of sight.

Some shoot beyond the horizon, but others just burn up and disappear.

Seen in the summer,

Often seen in summer months when there are fewer clouds.

Despite my nickname.

Nickname of "Falling Star"

Many deaths occurred,

Some people claim to have been killed by meteors

But I'm not to blame.

If it actually gets to the ground, then it is a meteorite, rather than a meteor.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for a nice try, although Nyk 232 is much closer. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Jul 13 '15 at 16:52
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Rainbows.

I come from a cloud. Some long streaks of light

Streaks of light through water vapor causes the rainbow

And a glowing shroud. But now out of sight.

When a shroud of some sort causes shadows, the rainbow goes away.

Seen in the summer, Despite my nickname.

Summer is usually sunny, this only happens when it rains(?)

Many deaths occurred, But I'm not to blame.

The book Genesis in the Bible. The rainbow didn't cause the deaths.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 not a bad try, but you didn't explain the nickname clue. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Jul 13 '15 at 16:59
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My best guess:

Hurricane. They have nicknames, occur in summer, come from clouds, block out the sunlight, can kill many, and aren't born of their own fault, but instead result by mixing of disparate pressure/humidity/temperature layers.

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  • $\begingroup$ Some long streaks of light And a glowing shroud. Seem mostly unaddressed but definitely an interesting answer. $\endgroup$ – Going hamateur Jul 14 '15 at 16:24
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Could it be:

Rain

I come from a cloud.

Clouds are made of water which will fall down as rain.

Some long streaks of light And a glowing shroud.

Clouds (the shroud) can glow, and sometimes when they have holes, you see streaks of light come from them.

But now out of sight.

As rain in the sky, it is not easy to see in comparison to clouds.

Seen in the summer,

It can rain quite frequently in summer (depending on your location)

Despite my nickname.

April showers can be used to describe rain (which is not in the summer)

Many deaths occurred,

Many deaths can occur from floods (or excess rain), or the 'reign' of a bad ruler.

But I'm not to blame.

I guess we just have to blame mother nature!

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 not a bad try, but I wouldn't say "reign" is a nickname for rain. $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Jul 13 '15 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ @pacoverflow Wat-er you trying to get at? $\endgroup$ – Mark N Jul 13 '15 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ You still need to explain how it's seen in the summer despite the nickname. :) $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Jul 13 '15 at 17:13

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