SONNET NO. 97
How like a winter hath my absence been
From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year.
What freezing have I felt, what dark days seen?
What old December's bareness everywhere!
And yet this time removed 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.
Here as in Sonnet No.56 Bacon writes of his absence from his
muse to which he afterwards returned and compares it to winter
which follows after summer and autumn. He is thinking of
his poems and plays which he considers his children (mental
creations) which he calls abundant issue which are orphans
and unfathered fruit until summer returns and he can claim
his own. Remember that in the dedication to the "Advance-
ment of Learning" Bacon wrote: " I desire to lay in your bosom
my new born child". See Sonnet No. 66 which also refers
to his absence from his muse and to winter and summer
mentioned in the above sonnet.
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