Shakespeare's Sonnets Translation Sonnet 98
From you have I been absent in the spring, When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim, Hath put a spirit of youth in everything, That heavy Saturn laughed and leapt with him. Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell Of different flow'rs in odor and in hue, Could make me any summer’s story tell, Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew. Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white, Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose; They were but sweet, but figures of delight, Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away, As with your shadow I with these did play.
I have been separated from you all spring,
When multi-colored April, all dressed up,
Has put a youthful spirit in everything,
So that heavy Saturn laughed and danced with him.
Yet neither the songs of the birds, nor the sweet smell
Of flowers different in scent and color,
Could make me tell any story of summer,
Or pluck the flowers from the proud earth.
Nor did I wonder at the whiteness of the lily,
Nor praise the deep red of the rose;
They were only sweet, no more than appearances of delight,
Drawn after you, you who are the archetype of all of them.
And it still seemed like winter, and, you were away,
I played with these as if I were playing with your shadow.