by Charles Kingsley (1819 - 1875)

O Mary, go and call the cattle home
Language: English 
"O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
    And call the cattle home,
    And call the cattle home,
  Across the sands o' Dee;"
The western wind was wild and dank wi' foam,
  And all alone went she.

The creeping tide came up along the sand,
    And o'er and o'er the sand,
    And round and round the sand,
  As far as eye could see;
The blinding mist came down and hid the land--
  And never home came she.

"Oh, is it weed, or fish, or floating hair--
    A tress o' golden hair,
    O' drowned maiden's hair,
  Above the nets at sea?
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair,
  Among the stakes on Dee."

They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
    The cruel crawling foam,
    The cruel hungry foam,
  To her grave beside the sea:
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home,
  Across the sands o' Dee.

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

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in Russian (Русский), a translation by N. Konchalovskaya ; composed by Mark Vladimirovich Mil'man.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-01-10
Line count: 24
Word count: 150