William Shakespeare: How like a winter hath my absence been

How like a winter hath my absence been

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.