Sunday, 22 December 2013

Solstice Squibs

December, by and large, is a pretty dreary month in the Northern Hemisphere, which is why we put bright lights and colours everywhere at this time of year.  It's probably also why some of us get seriously, serially drunk.

We've just gone over the tipping point, and the days will lengthen, very gradually, from now on.  The month does have its own subtle palette, however, and a little sunlight at midday is all it takes to bring it out.

Tis the yeares midnight, and it is the dayes,
Lucies, who scarce seaven houres herself unmaskes,
The Sunne is spent, and now his flasks
Send forth light squibs, no constant rayes ;
The worlds whole sap is sunke :
The generall balme th' hydroptique earth hath drunk,
Whither, as to the beds-feet, life is shrunke,
Dead and enterr'd; yet all these seeme to laugh,
Compar'd with mee, who am their Epitaph.

John Donne, A nocturnall upon S. Lucies day, Being the shortest day.

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