Mainly for Sipu – a loose end tied up

On another post Sipu used a quote which I was unable to source on Google – “Avast, no more these Scottish monarchs we’ll adore”. He was good enough to give me the title of the book from which it came and Amazon did the rest.

‘Kings and Queens’ has duly arrived. 1983 edition with a foreword by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The last monarch pomed is her daughter.

The quote comes from ‘James II’ and not ‘William and Mary.’

‘Four Stuart kings there were whose names
Were James and Charles and Charles and James.

The first, as history makes plain,
Was ugly, greedy, gross, and vain.

The second, it must be allowed,
Was dense, pernickety, and proud.

The third, if I make no mistake,
Was an incorrigible rake.

The fourth combined, it seems to me,
The vices of the other three.

So England cried, ‘Avaunt! no more
These Scottish Stuarts we’ll adore,

But try instead a monarch much,
Safer, if stodgier, from the Dutch.’

So Orange William hove in sight,
And James the Second took to flight.

No Stuart King has since been known
To sit upon the English throne.

But though in practice they were not
A very efficacious lot,

They still look well in picture-frames,
Do James and Charles and Charles and James.’

4 thoughts on “Mainly for Sipu – a loose end tied up”

  1. Hi John, many thanks for this. My memory is even worse than I thought, though these were poems that I read when I was a child so I hope I am given some leeway. I was sort of on the right track, and the gist of it was there. In any event I am glad you have the book and thank you for posting this poem. You have of course taken from me the privilege to quote, or rather misquote, from that book in the future.

  2. Good morning Sipu. The last sentence of your #2 clearly reveals the Jock ancestry which we have in common – there’s always a downside to everything, in our opinion.

    My favourite pom is ‘William and Mary’ which takes the same historical view (be it Marxist or otherwise) as ‘1066 and All That’.

    ‘William and Mary
    They sat on one throne;
    You can’t think of one
    of the couple alone.
    How seldom we’ve heard
    of William the Third!
    How rarely we’ve reckoned
    With Mary the Second!
    But William and Mary
    Are known to the many
    Like two indivisible
    Sides of a penny.
    And stick in the histories,
    One by the other,
    As close as a Siamese
    Twin to his brother.’

    Not strictly true in Ulster and parts of Scotland, of course, where William III is quite distinctly remembered on an annual basis.

    And, since JW is back in town and might be looking in, here’s a nice picture of King Billy visiting Lincoln Cathedral without the wife.

  3. Ah, John, I was not sure whether I should include a 😉 or 🙂 or a 😦 . In the end I decided that none was necessary. As I am sure you know, the first 3 Williams’ deaths occurred while riding.
    Cue, William the second, he had a red head!

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