Sonnets Xiii

FROM you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything,
That heavy Saturn laugh'd and leap'd 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.

by William Shakespeare

Comments (3)

2 The persistent undertone of time's advance bringing winter, decay and death, here continues. The boy is urged to shore up his house against this eventual fate. But what seems to emerge more than anything from this poem is the inevitability and sadness of this demise, contrasted with the love and beauty which stands up bravely to fight against it, and the tenderness of the poet's affection for the youth. shakespeares-sonnets.com/
This sonnet returns to the theme of procreation as a defence against death and ruin. It is interesting also that it is the first in the sequence that contains an open and unequivocal declaration of love: but, love you are/ etc. in l.1; and especially Dear my love in l.13.
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