Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 97
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 burthen of the prime, Like widowed wombs after their lords' decease. Yet this abundant issue seemed to me But hope of orphans, and unfathered 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.
How like a winter my absence for you has been
You are the pleasure of a quickly-passing year!
What freezing cold I have felt, what dark days I have seen!
The bleakness of old December was everywhere!
And yet this time away was also like summer,
The fertile autumn had a bountiful harvest,
Bearing the playful offspring from the prime of the year,
Like widows pregnant after the death of their husbands.
Yet this abundant produce seemed to me
No more than the hope of orphans and fatherless fruit,
Since summer and its pleasures depend on you,
And when you are away, even the birds are mute.
Or if they sing, it is in such a low mood
That the leaves look pale, dreading the approach of winter.