Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
When the Kye Comes Hame
By James Hogg (1770–1835)
COME, all ye jolly shepherds,
  That whistle through the glen
I’ll tell ye of a secret
  That courtiers dinna ken:
What is the greatest bliss        5
  That the tongue o’ man can name?
’Tis to woo a bonny lassie
  When the kye comes hame,
  When the kye comes hame,
  When the kye comes hame,        10
’Tween the gloaming and the mirk,
  When the kye comes hame.
’Tis not beneath the coronet,
  Nor canopy of state,
’Tis not on couch of velvet,        15
  Nor arbor of the great—
’Tis beneath the spreading birk,
  In the glen without the name,
Wi’ a bonny, bonny lassie,
  When the kye comes hame.        20
There the blackbird bigs his nest,
  For the mate he lo’es to see,
And on the topmost bough
  Oh! a happy bird is he!
Where he pours his melting ditty        25
  And love is a’ the theme,
And he’ll woo his bonny lassie
  When the kye comes hame.
When the blewart bears a pearl,
  And the daisy turns a pea,        30
And the bonny luken gowan
  Has fauldit up her ee,
Then the laverock, frae the blue lift,
  Drops down and thinks nae shame
To woo his bonny lassie        35
  When the kye comes hame.
See yonder pawkie shepherd,
  That lingers on the hill:
His ewes are in the fauld,
  An’ his lambs are lying still,        40
Yet he downa gang to bed,
  For his heart is in a flame,
To meet his bonny lassie
  When the kye comes hame.
When the little wee bit heart        45
  Rises high in the breast,
An’ the little wee bit starn
  Rises red in the east,
Oh, there’s a joy sae dear
  That the heart can hardly frame,        50
Wi’ a bonny, bonny lassie
  When the kye comes hame.
Then since all Nature joins
  In this love without alloy,
Oh wha wad prove a traitor        55
  To Nature’s dearest joy?
Or wha wad choose a crown,
  Wi’ its perils and its fame,
And miss his bonnie lassie
  When the kye comes hame?        60

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