After the ‘45


By Charles A. Coulombe

Word Count: 365

Rating: PG

Summary: A poem of the Jacobite rising

Image Credit: David Morier


The News came in from Glenfinnan Crag

That Bonnie Prince Charlie had raised up his flag.

Son Jamie came in with temper red-hot

And fed me my dinner from the old iron pot.


“So, da,” he said, “it’s started again,

Young Charlie Stuart will bring us more pain.

We will march, we will lose, he’ll leave us between

Like his father left you there, back in ‘Fifteen.”


For my darling Jamie to speak like a Whig,

So brave and so braw, to act like a pig,

It cut me to hear, to have such a one

Speak with so faint a heart, him my own son


“Your Grandsire marched with Bonnie Dundee,

His sire with Montrose, to die by the sea.

I was at Sherrifmuir, back in Fifteen,

All the drawn claymore’s silvery sheen.

Had I not been your namesake’s great pride

Your ma would never have sat by my side.”


“Oh, da,” he said, with a trembling voice,

“Why must I make this terrible choice

To leave yourself and the maiden I love,

Go fight for James Edward’s right to his glove?”


“Those that God loves to keep in His sight

Are men who will dare to struggle for right.”

Jamie agreed, said he would go,

Was off to the army with morning’s first glow.


Jamie alone was brought back again,

To rest in the yard with our holy slain.

Our hope once bloomed, now it has fled.

At Culloden it lies with bones of the dead.


Dora will not have him to keep as her lord,

Never his bairns will play by my board.

Withered alike are love and good deeds

While I lie here each night, telling my beads.


The Pope heads the Church, James Edward is King!

May all the cursed Whigs from the gallows soon


If I pass Brig O’ Doom, Purgatory Fire,

Arrive at the place where saints play the lyre,

I’ll catch Jamie’s blue eyes with my sad ones of red

And kiss the fair hair on his splendid young head.

Gladly then will I bow to James, seventh King

And unto great God Hosannas will sing.




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