Scottish Poetry Selection
- A Kiss of the King's Hand
Although this poem was written in 1894 by Sarah Robenson Matheson, long after the 1745 Jacobite Uprising of Bonnie Prince Charlie, it is clear that the king's hand being written about was Prince Charles Edward Stuart.
A Kiss of the King's HandIt wasna from a golden throne,
Or a bower with milk-white roses blown,
But mid the kelp on northern sand
That I got a kiss of the King's hand.
I durstna raise my een to see
If he even cared to glance at me;
His princely brow with care was crossed
For his true men slain and kingdom lost.
Think not his hand was soft and white,
Or his fingers a' with jewels dight,
Or round his wrists were ruffles grand
When I got a kiss of the King's hand.
But dearer far to my twa een
Was the ragged sleeve of red and green
O'er that young weary hand that fain,
With the guid broadsword, had found its ain.
Farewell for ever, the distance grey
And the lapping ocean seemed to say -
For him a home in a foreign land.
And for me one kiss of the King's hand.
Meaning of unusual words:
fain=willing in the circumstances
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