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Winter at St Andrews



The city once again doth wear
Her wonted dress of winter's bride,
Her mantle woven of misty air,
With saffron sunlight faintly dyed.
She sits above the seething tide,
Of all her summer robes forlorn -
And dead is all her summer pride -
The leaves are off Queen Mary's Thorn.

All round, the landscape stretches bare,
The bleak fields lying far and wide,
Monotonous, with here and there
A lone tree on a lone hillside.
No more the land is glorified
With golden gleams of ripening corn,
Scarce is a cheerful hue descried -
The leaves are off Queen Mary's Thorn.

For me, I do not greatly care
Though leaves be dead, and mists abide.
To me the place is thrice as fair
In winter as in summer-tide:
With kindlier memories allied
Of pleasure past and pain o'erworn.
What care I, though the earth may hide
The leaves from off Queen Mary's Thorn?

Thus I unto my friend replied,
When, on a chill late autumn morn,
He pointed to the tree, and cried,
`The leaves are off Queen Mary's Thorn!'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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