Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
When the Cows Come Home
By Agnes E. Mitchell
  WITH klingle, klangle, klingle,
  ’Way down the dusty dingle,
  The cows are coming home;
Now sweet and clear, and faint and low,
The airy tinklings come and go,        5
Like chimings from some far-off tower,
Or patterings of an April shower
      That makes the daisies grow.
  Ko-kling, ko-klang, koklinglelingle,
  ’Way down the darkening dingle        10
  The cows come slowly home;
And old-time friends, and twilight plays,
And starry nights and sunny days
Come trooping up the misty ways
      When the cows come home.        15
  With jingle, jangle, jingle,
  Soft sounds that sweetly mingle,
  The cows are coming home;
Malvine, and Pearl, and Florimel,
DeKamp, Redrose, and Gretchen Schell,        20
Queen Bess, and Sylph, and Spangled Sue—
Across the fields I hear her loo-oo,
      And clang her silver bell.
  Go-ling, go-lang, golinglelingle,
  With faint far sounds that mingle,        25
  The cows come slowly home;
And mother-songs of long-gone years,
And baby joys, and childish tears,
And youthful hopes, and youthful fears,
      When the cows come home.        30
  With ringle, rangle, ringle,
  By twos and threes and single,
  The cows are coming home.
Through the violet air we see the town,
And the summer sun a-slipping down;        35
The maple in the hazel glade
Throws down the path a longer shade,
      And the hills are growing brown.
  To-ring, to-rang, toringleringle,
  By threes and fours and single,        40
  The cows come slowly home:
The same sweet sound of wordless psalm,
The same sweet June-day rest and calm,
The same sweet scent of bud and balm,
      When the cows come home.        45
  With a tinkle, tankle, tinkle,
  Through fern and periwinkle,
  The cows are coming home;
A-loitering in the checkered stream,
Where the sun-rays glance and gleam,        50
Starine, Peachbloom, and Phœbe Phyllis
Stand knee-deep in the creamy lilies,
      In a drowsy dream.
  To-link, to-link, tolinklelinkle,
  O’er banks with buttercups a-twinkle        55
  The cows come slowly home;
And up through memory’s deep ravine
Come the brook’s old song and its old-time sheen,
And the crescent of the silver queen,
      When the cows come home.        60
  With a klingle, klangle, klingle,
  With a loo-oo, and moo-oo, and jingle,
  The cows are coming home;
And over there on Merlin hill,
Hear the plaintive cry of the whippoorwill;        65
The dew-drops lie on the tangled vines,
And over the poplars Venus shines,
      And over the silent mill.
  Ko-ling, ko-lang, kolinglelingle,
  With ting-a-ling and jingle,        70
  The cows come slowly home.
Let down the bars; let in the train
Of long-gone songs, and flowers, and rain;
For dear old times come back again
      When the cows come home.        75

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