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The Cavaliers were royalists or supporters of King Charles I in the English Civil War (1642-1651). Their name originated because, being largely nobility, they could afford horses (cf. French 'chevalier' = cavalier and 'cheval' = horse).

Robert Browning wrote three imaginative poems entitled "Cavalier Lyrics." They are: "Marching Along," "Give a Rouse," and "Boot and Saddle." He was writing two centuries after the event, and the poems are written in a spirit of fun, but he tried to capture what he thought was the spirit of the cavaliers. They are short, rhythmic, and well-suited for reading aloud... with feeling. "Marching Along" begins:

Kentish Sir Byng stood for his King,
Bidding the crop-headed Parliament swing:
And, pressing a troop unable to stoop
And see the rogues flourish and honest folk droop,
Marched them along, fifty-score strong,
Great-hearted gentlemen, singing this song.

External links

  • Cavalier Tunes, from Robert Browning