Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
William Shakespeare. 1564–1616
  
156. Sonnets
xii
  
HOW like a Winter hath my absence been 
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year! 
What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen, 
What old December's bareness everywhere! 
And yet this time removed was summer's time;         5
The teeming Autumn, big with rich increase, 
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime 
Like widow'd wombs after their Lord's decease: 
Yet this abundant issue seem'd to me 
But hope of orphans and unfather'd fruit;  10
For Summer and his pleasures wait on thee, 
And, thou away, the very birds are mute: 
  Or if they sing, 'tis with so dull a cheer 
  That leaves look pale, dreading the Winter 's near. 
 
 
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