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ST. LUCY'S DAY, BEING THE SHORTEST DAY

TIS the year's midnight, and it is the day's, Lucy's, who scarce seven hours herself unmasks ; The sun is spent, and now his flasks Send forth light squibs, no constant rays ; The world's whole sap is sunk ; The general balm th' hydroptic earth hath drunk, Whither, as to the bed's-feet, life is shrunk, Dead and interr'd ; yet all these seem to laugh, Compared with me, who am their epitaph.

Study me then, you who shall lovers be At the next world, that is, at the next spring ; For I am every dead thing, In whom Love wrought new alchemy. For his art did express A quintessence even from nothingness, From dull privations, and lean emptiness ; He ruin'd me, and I am re-begot Of absence, darkness, death—things which are not.

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