Robert Kirkland Kernighan

(25 April 1854 – 3 November 1926 / Ontario)

The Old Cow Bell - Poem by Robert Kirkland Kernighan

Bossy, it 's spring, you '11 soon be free,
Six months of gladness are yours, I hope ;
All winter you Ve been a care to me,

But now I 'm cutting your well-worn rope ;
But 'round your neck a circle I twine,
You cannot hide, you 're always mine,
At home or down on the dim side line

I '11 hear the cow bell.

The boys will search when evening falls,

Barelegged they '11 trail thro' brier and weed ;

They know the green and bosky stalls,
The place where the straying cattle feed.

The boys will hunt at the close of day,

And listen, listen amid their play,

Bossy, Bossy, what gives you away ?
The cow bell.

The mother stands with her well scrubbed pail,

And shadows her anxious eyes,
So out of the swamp, with a muddy tail,

See the family cow arise.
She 's milked, and maiden and robin bird
Wink at each other and say no word ;
And down in the swamp the ring is heard
Of the cow bell.

Many and many and many a man

W^ho o\vns his multi-thousands, now,



THE KHAN'S CANTICLES. 41

Was raised on the good old-fashioned plan,
And lived on the milk of the family cow.
Mush and milk made his brains and bones ;
Her butter bought him his building stones
No wonder he loves the tinkling tones

Of the cow bell.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012



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