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The Old Scotish Cavalier

William Edmondstoune Aytoun 1813 (Edinburgh) – 1865 (Lhanbryde)


Come listen to another song,
Should make your heart beat high,
Bring crimson to your forehead,
And the lustre to your eye;-
It is a song of olden time,
Of days long since gone by,
And of a Baron stout and bold
As e'er wore sword on thigh!
Like a brave old Scottish cavalier,
All of the olden time!


He kept his castle in the north,
Hard by the thundering Spey;
And a thousand vassals dwelt around
All of his kindred they.
And not a man of all that clan
Had ever ceased to pray
For the Royal race they loved so well,
Though exiled far away
From the steadfast Scottish cavaliers,
All of the olden time!


His father drew the righteous sword
For Scotland and her claims,
Among the loyal gentlemen
And chiefs of ancient names
Who swore to fight or fall beneath
The standard of King James,
And died at Killiecrankie pass
With the glory of the Graemes;
Like a true old Scottish cavalier,
All of the olden time!


He never owned the foreign rule,
No master he obeyed,
But kept his clan in peace at home,
From foray and from raid;
And when they asked him for his oath,
He touched his glittering blade,
And pointed to his bonnet blue,
That bore the white cockade:
Like a leal old Scottish cavalier,
All of the olden time!


At length the news ran through the land-
THE PRINCE had come again!
That night the fiery cross was sped
O'er mountain and through glen;
And our old Baron rose in might,
Like a lion from his den,
And rode away across the hills
To Charlie and his men,
With the valiant Scottish cavaliers,
All of the olden time!


He was the first that bent the knee
When the STANDARD waved abroad,
He was the first that charged the foe
On Preston's bloody sod;
And ever, in the van of fight,
The foremost still he trod,
Until, on bleak Culloden's heath,
He gave his soul to God,
Like a good old Scottish cavalier,
All of the olden time!


Oh! never shall we know again
A heart so stout and true-
The olden times have passed away,
And weary are the new:
The fair White Rose has faded
From the garden where it grew,
And no fond tears save those of heaven
The glorious bed bedew
Of the last old Scottish cavalier,
All of the olden time!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:05 min read

William Edmondstoune Aytoun

William Edmondstoune Aytoun FRSE was a Scottish lawyer and poet center more…

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