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Short poem

Charles Kingsley (1819-1875)

The Sands of Dee

              1"O Mary, go and call the cattle home,
              2      And call the cattle home,
              3      And call the cattle home
              4    Across the sands of Dee";
              5The western wind was wild and dank with foam,
              6    And all alone went she.

              7The western tide crept up along the sand,
              8      And o'er and o'er the sand,
              9      And round and round the sand,
            10    As far as eye could see.
            11The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
            12    And never home came she.

            13"Oh! is it weed, or fish, or floating hair--
            14      A tress of golden hair,
            15      A drownèd maiden's hair
            16    Above the nets at sea?
            17Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
            18    Among the stakes on Dee."

            19They rowed her in across the rolling foam,
            20      The cruel crawling foam,
            21      The cruel hungry foam,
            22    To her grave beside the sea:
            23But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home
            24    Across the sands of Dee.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Charles Kingsley, Alton Locke (1849).
First publication date: 1848
RPO poem editor: J. D. Robins
RP edition: 2RP.2.486; RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/9

Rhyme: aaabab

Other poems by Charles Kingsley