Treasure Island

Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)

Rondeau: Gambling at Culloden in 1746


With just one boy and daughters (eight!)
a wife and comfortable estate,
I damn both Jacobites and Whigs
who make us dance their bloody jigs
between crossed swords of equal weight.

Neutrality would not vouchsafe
our assets from a victor’s raid;
they’re pinned mid broadswords, sparks and flints
with just one boy.

But Branan’s lads both wear cockades,
there’s white for Camran, black for Craig.
Whoever wins, be it Bonnie Prince
or Cumberland, he’s covered methinks
but I can’t place a bet each way
with just one boy.

Submitted: Thursday, October 03, 2013
Edited: Monday, March 17, 2014

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Topic(s): war

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

At the Culloden Visitor Centre in Scotland, I read that some families sent one son to fight for the Hanoverians (black cockade for the Duke of Cumberland) and one to fight for the Jacobites (white cockade for Bonnie Prince Charlie) thereby hoping to avoid reprisals if they picked the wrong side.

Comments about this poem (Rondeau: Gambling at Culloden in 1746 by Diane Hine )

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  • Dinesh Nair (10/6/2013 9:23:00 AM)

    Our social attitudes have ever been dominated by the notions of creeds and religious outfits.
    A catholic child or a protestant child is also born to experience similar things at large and Scotland continues to be plagued by prejudices and notions unwarranted according to many sources of information.
    Your poem is both reverberating and amusing to read despite the pathos that can be felt all through. (Report) Reply

  • Lyn Paul (10/6/2013 4:51:00 AM)

    Very well put together Diane with this Scottish setting you have still managed to create an Aussie feel (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (10/6/2013 4:39:00 AM)

    I feel sorry for the plight of the man with just one boy and eight girls! (such an unweildy number for any father of average means according to Indian standards with the dowry monster) But Branan is fortunate to have had two boys to safely play the gamble anyway he likes! Very interesting! ! (Report) Reply

  • Anthony Di''anno (10/6/2013 3:16:00 AM)

    I never knew that. Interesting poem Diane, It's early Sunday morning and I have learnt something already :) (Report) Reply

  • S.zaynub Kamoonpuri (10/6/2013 12:14:00 AM)

    Woah a rondeau eh! An interesting rhyming ballade like narative poem i so enjoyd readin. Entertaining history i must say. (Report) Reply

  • S.zaynub Kamoonpuri (10/6/2013 12:14:00 AM)

    Woah a rondeau eh! An interesting rhyming ballade like narative poem i so enjoyd readin. Entertaining history i must say. (Report) Reply

  • Danny Draper (10/3/2013 6:10:00 AM)

    A fine write and no doubt if both sons were called Robert this was the beginning of the phrase A Bob each way! Ok I'm a dad, dad joke, sue me. An excellent poem beautifully crafted. (Report) Reply

  • Mark Dillon (10/3/2013 5:29:00 AM)

    nice write enjoyed it, war always has collateral damage- the innocent always suffer. (Report) Reply

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