Ca' the Yowes to the Knowes

Original Text: 
The Works of Robert Burns, ed. James Currie (Liverpool: J. M'Creery; and Edinburgh: W. Creech, 1800). D-10/7273 Fisher Library.
2Ca' them where the heather grows
4      My bonie dearie.
8      My bonie dearie.
9We'll gae down by Cluden side,
10Thro' the hazels spreading wide,
11O'er the waves that sweetly glide
12      To the moon sae clearly.
13Yonder Cluden's silent towers,
14Where at moonshine midnight hours,
15O'er the dewy-bending flowers,
16      Fairies dance sae cheery.
18Thou 'rt to love and Heaven sae dear,
19Nocht of ill may come thee near,
20      My bonie dearie.
21Fair and lovely as thou art,
23I can die--but canna part,
24      My bonie dearie.


1] Taken down from recitation at Burns's request about 1787. "I added some stanzas to the song and mended others" (Burns). The poem was rewritten Sept. 1794.
yowes: ewes.
knowes: knolls, hillocks. Back to Line
3] burnie: brooklet.
rows: rolls. Back to Line
5] mavis: thrush. Back to Line
6] Cluden's woods: the woods of the ruined Lincluden Abbey at the junction of the rivers Cluden and Nith, Dumfriesshire. Back to Line
7] faulding: folding, bring home the sheep. Back to Line
17] ghaist nor bogle: ghost nor goblin. Back to Line
22] stown: stolen. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
G. G. Falle
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.324.