by Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)
Translation © by Pierre Mathé

Ca' the yowes tae the knowes
Language: Scottish (Scots) 
Available translation(s): FRE
Ca' the yowes tae the knowes,
  Ca' them whar the heather grows,
Ca' them whar the burnie rows,
  My bonnie dearie.

Hark, the mavis' e'enin' sang,
Soundin' Cluden's woods amang;
Then a fauldin' let us gang,
  My bonnie dearie.

We'll gang down by Clouden side,
Through the hazels spreading wide
O'er the waves that sweetly glide
  To the moon sae clearly.

Fair and lovely as thou art,
Thou hast stol'n my very heart;
I can die, but canna part,
  My bonnie Dearie.

While waters wimple to the sea,
While day blinks in the lift sae hie
Till death shall blin' my e'e
  Ye shall be my dearie.

B. Britten sets stanzas 1-4
R. Vaughan Williams sets stanzas 1-2, 4-5

About the headline (FAQ)


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in a modified version by Joseph Haydn, Maurice Johnson.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Français) (Pierre Mathé) , copyright © 2019, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2016-09-11 08:30:08
Line count: 20
Word count: 107

Mène les brebis sur les hauteurs
Language: French (Français)  after the Scottish (Scots) 
Mène les brebis sur les hauteurs,
   Mène-les où pousse la bruyère,
Mène-les où coule le ruisseau,
    Ma belle chérie.

Écoute le chant vespéral de la grive,
Résonner dans les bois de Cluden ;
Puis allons au parc à moutons,
    Ma belle chérie.

Nous descendrons du côté de Clouden,
Parmi les larges étendues de noisetiers,
Au-dessus des vagues qui glissent doucement
    À la lune si claire.

Tu es si belle et charmante
Que tu as bien ravi mon cœur ;
Je peux mourir, mais ne puis te quitter,
    Ma belle chérie.

Tant que les eaux gazouillent vers la mer,
Tant que le jour brille haut dans le ciel,
Jusqu'à ce que la mort ferme mes yeux,
    Tu seras ma chérie.

About the headline (FAQ)

Translations of title(s):
"Ca' the yowes to the knowes" = "Mène les brebis sur les hauteurs"
"Ca' the yowes" = "Mène les brebis"


  • Translation from Scottish (Scots) to French (Français) copyright © 2019 by Pierre Mathé, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.

Based on


Text added to the website: 2019-04-04 00:00:00
Last modified: 2019-04-04 11:02:35
Line count: 20
Word count: 119