Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
VI. Lovers
When the Kye comes Hame
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?
’T is 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!
 
’T is not beneath the coronet,
  Nor canopy of state,
’T is not on couch of velvet,        15
  Nor arbor of the great,—
’T is beneath the spreading birk,
  In the glen without the name,
Wi’ a bonny, bonny lassie,
  When the kye comes hame!        20
    When the kye comes hame, etc.
 
There the blackbird bigs his nest
  For the mate he loes to see,
And on the topmost bough,
  O, a happy bird is he;        25
Where he pours his melting ditty,
  And love is a’ the theme,
And he ’ll woo his bonny lassie
  When the kye comes hame!
    When the kye comes hame, etc.        30
 
When the blewart bears a pearl,
  And the daisy turns a pea,
And the bonny lucken gowan
  Has fauldit up her ee,
Then the laverock frae the blue lift        35
  Doops down, an’ thinks nae shame
To woo his bonny lassie
  When the kye comes hame!
    When the kye comes hame, etc.
 
See yonder pawkie shepherd,        40
  That lingers on the hill,
His ewes are in the fauld,
  An’ his lambs are lying still;
Yet he downa gang to bed,
  For his heart is in a flame,        45
To meet his bonny lassie
  When the kye comes hame!
    When the kye comes hame, etc.
 
When the little wee bit heart
  Rises high in the breast,        50
An’ the little wee bit starn
  Rises red in the east,
O there ’s a joy sae dear,
  That the heart can hardly frame,
Wi’ a bonny, bonny lassie,        55
  When the kye comes hame!
    When the kye comes hame, etc.
 
Then since all nature joins
  In this love without alloy,
O, wha wad prove a traitor        60
  To Nature’s dearest joy?
O, wha wad choose a crown,
  Wi’ its perils and its fame,
And miss his bonny lassie
  When the kye comes hame!        65
    When the kye comes hame,
    When the kye comes hame!
  ’Tween the gloaming and the mirk,
    When the kye comes hame!
 
 
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