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.
- Cavalier Tunes, from Robert Browning