The Sands of Dee


The Sands of Dee was published in the anthology, The Oxford Book of English Verse (1900), compiled by the author Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.
'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 dark with foam,
    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.
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 drowned maiden's hair,
    Above the nets at sea?'
Was never salmon yet that shone so fair
    Among the stakes of Dee.

They row'd her in across the rolling foam,
    The cruel crawling foam,
    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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