SONNET NO. 98
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 not 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 lilies white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight
Drawn after you-you pattern of all these.
Yet seemed it winter still and you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play.
In this sonnet is a
reference to cultivated flowers like the lily
and the rose which in his day were only to be found in the
gardens of the gentry and the aristocracy-which are unlikely
to have been seen by Will Shakespere who would only be
acquainted with wild flowers and is not known to have been
acquainted with anyone outside his own sphere. Here Bacon
tells us that it seemed to be winter to him whilst he was parted