by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

How like a winter hath my absence been
Language: English 
Available translation(s): ITA
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 remov'd was summer's time,
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burthen 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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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

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Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

This text was added to the website: 2005-08-06
Line count: 14
Word count: 107