Sonnet 97: How like a winter hath my absence been
by Robert Laurence Binyon
It is early morning within this room; without,
Dark and damp; without and within, stillness
Waiting for day: not a sound but a listening air.
Yellow jasmine, delicate on stiff branches
Stands in a Tuscan pot to delight the eye
In spare December’s patient nakedness.
Suddenly, softly, as if at a breath breathed
On the pale wall, a magical apparition,
The shadow of the jasmine, branch and blossom!
It was not there, it is there, in a perfect image;
And all is changed. It is like a memory lost
Returning without a reason into the mind.