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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 burden of the prime,
Like widow’d wombs after their lord’s decease:
Yet this abundant issue seem’d to me
But hope of orphans, and unfathered fruit;
For summer and his pleasure 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.

    William Shakespeare

 

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