Last night the full moon's splendour Shone down on Taunton Dene, And pasture fresh and tender, And coppice dusky green, The heavenly light did render In one enchanted scene,
One fair unearthly vision. Yet soon mine eyes were cloyed, And found those fields Elysian Too rich to be enjoyed. Or was it our division Made all my pleasure void?
Across the window glasses The curtain then I drew, And, as a sea-bird passes, In sleep my spirit flew To grey and windswept grasses And moonlit sands--and you.
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!'
There was a time when it was counted high To be a patriot--whether by the zeal Of peaceful labour for the country's weal, Or by the courage in her cause to die: