Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
X. The Pity of It
The Sands of Dee
By Charles Kingsley (1819–1875)
‘O MARY, go and call the cattle home,
    And call the cattle home,
    And call the cattle home
    Across the sands of Dee’;
The western wind was wild and dank with foam,        5
    And all alone went she.
The western tide crept up along the sand,
    And o’er and o’er the sand,
    And round and round the sand,
    As far as eye could see.        10
The rolling mist came down and hid the land:
    And never home came she.
‘O is it weed, or fish, or floating hair—
    A tress of golden hair,
    A drownèd maiden’s hair,        15
    Above the nets at sea?
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
    Among the stakes on Dee.’
They row’d her in across the rolling foam,
    The cruel crawling foam,        20
    The cruel hungry foam,
    To her grave beside the sea:
But still the boatmen hear her call the cattle home
    Across the sands of Dee.

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