William Shakespeare

(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616 / Warwickshire)

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;
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;
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.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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