Gateway to the Classics: Historic Poems and Ballads by Rupert S. Holland
 
Historic Poems and Ballads by  Rupert S. Holland

Bonnie Prince Charlie

"B ONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE" was the name affectionately given by certain Scotch and English people to Charles Edward Stuart, son of James Stuart, and grandson of James II, king of England. He was also known as "The Chevalier," or "The Young Pretender," and his father as "The Old Pretender." The Scotch who were still loyal to their old royal house of Stuart claimed that Charles Edward was the rightful king of Great Britain, and wanted to see him take the throne from the House of Hanover.

Prince Charlie landed in Scotland in July, 1745, with only seven friends, and appealed to the chiefs of the Highland clans to give him their aid. "The Old Pretender" had not been a popular leader, but Prince Charlie was young, handsome, and brave, and his love of the Highlands and his dashing manner won the people to his standard. The Highlanders followed him to Edinburgh, where he was proclaimed King James VIII of Scotland. In September, 1745, he won the battle of Preston Pans, and a little later a victory at Falkirk gave him a strong hold on Scotland.

Prince Charlie then marched an army of six thousand men over the border into England, hoping the English would imitate the Scotch. But only a few English recruits joined him, and the advance of a royal army from the south made him beat a retreat to Scotland. The armies met at the battle of Culloden in Scotland, April 16, 1746, and there the Prince was defeated and forced to fly.

For five months Prince Charlie wandered through the wilds of Scotland, constantly pursued by English soldiers. There was a reward of £30,000 offered for his capture, but the loyal Highlanders sheltered him again and again, and although he was often surrounded by his pursuers he managed to escape them every time. Finally he made his way across to France.

This expedition is known as the rebellion of '45; and it is one of the many romances of Scottish history, due to the dashing gallantry of Prince Charlie and the devotion of the Highlanders. Walter Scott's novel of "Waverly" deals with this story, and many Scotch songs have been sung of "The Young Chevalier."

Bonnie Prince Charlie

by James Hogg

Cam ye by Athol, lad wi' the philabeg,

Down by the Tummel, or banks o' the Garry;

Saw ye our lads, wi' their bonnets and white cockades,

Leaving their mountains to follow Prince Charlie?

Follow thee! follow thee! wha wadna follow thee?

Lang hast thou loved and trusted us fairly:

Charlie, Charlie, wha wadna follow thee,

King o' the Highland hearts, bonnie Prince Charlie?


I hae but ae son, my gallant young Donald;

But if I had ten, they should follow Glengary.

Health to M'Donnel, and gallant Clan-Ronald,

For these are the men that will die for their Charlie!

Follow thee! follow thee! wha wadna follow thee?

Lang hast thou loved and trusted us fairly:

Charlie, Charlie, wha wadna follow thee,

King o' the Highland hearts, bonnie Prince Charlie?


I'll to Lochiel and Appin, and kneel to them,

Down by Lord Murray, and Roy of Kildarlie;

Brave M'Intosh he shall fly to the field with them;

These are the lads I can trust wi' my Charlie!

Follow thee! follow thee! wha wadna follow thee?

Lang hast thou loved and trusted us fairly:

Charlie, Charlie, wha wadna follow thee,

King o' the Highland hearts, bonnie Prince Charlie?


Down through the Lowlands, down wi' the Whigamore!

Loyal true Highlanders, down wi' them rarely!

Ronald and Donald, drive on wi' the broad claymore,

Over the necks of the foes of Prince Charlie!

Follow thee! follow thee! wha wadna follow thee?

Lang hast thou loved and trusted us fairly:

Charlie, Charlie, wha wadna follow thee,

King o' the Highland hearts, bonnie Prince Charlie?


 Table of Contents  |  Index  |  Home  | Previous: Battle of Fontenoy  |  Next: Boston
Copyright (c) 2005 - 2020   Yesterday's Classics, LLC. All Rights Reserved.