Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
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Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
 
IV. What Singing Birds and Flowers Are in the Absence of the Beloved Person
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
FROM you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dress’d in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That 1 heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell        5
Of different flowers in odor and in hue
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the lilies white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose:        10
They were, though sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you; you, pattern of all those.
  Yet seemed it winter still; and, you away,
  As with your shadow I with these did play.
 
Note 1. A poetical license for so that. [back]
 
 
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