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Sonnet XCVII

by William Shakespeare

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 lords' 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.

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Sonnet 97

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