When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear times waste
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in deaths dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelld woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanishd sight
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell oer
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restord and sorrows end.
Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
With all triumphant splendour on my brow
But out! alack! he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath maskd him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth
Suns of the world may stain when heavens sun staineth.
Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crownd,
Crooked eclipses gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beautys brow,
Feeds on the rarities of natures truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow
And yet to times in hope, my verse shall stand.
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.
When I have seen by Times fell hand defacd
The rich-proud cost of outworn buried age
When sometime lofty towers I see down-razd,
And brass eternal slave to mortal rage;
When I have seen the hungry ocean gain
Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
And the firm soil win of the watery main,
Increasing store with loss, and loss with store
When I have seen such interchange of state,
Or state itself confounded, to decay
Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate
That Time will come and take my love away.
This thought is as a death which cannot choose
But weep to have, that which it fears to lose.
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 Decembers bareness everywhere!
And yet this time removed was summer’s time
The teeming autumn, big with rich increase,
Bearing the wanton burden of the prime,
Like widowd wombs after their lords decease
Yet this abundant issue seemd to me
But hope of orphans, and unfatherd 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.