Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
126. Ninety-seventh Sonnet
 
William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
 
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 lords’ 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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