Sonnet XCVIII: From you have I been absent in the spring

By William Shakespeare 1564–1616 William Shakespeare
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 leaped with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour 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 seem’d it winter still, and, you away,
    As with your shadow I with these did play.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet William Shakespeare 1564–1616

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Subjects Love, Romantic Love, Classic Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Heartache & Loss

 William  Shakespeare

Biography

While William Shakespeare's reputation is based primarily on his plays, he became famous first as a poet. With the partial exception of the Sonnets (1609), quarried since the early nineteenth century for autobiographical secrets allegedly encoded in them, the nondramatic writings have traditionally been pushed to the margins of the Shakespeare industry. Yet the study of his nondramatic poetry can illuminate Shakespeare's . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by William Shakespeare

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Romantic Love, Classic Love, Break-ups & Vexed Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Renaissance

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.