Women in History of Scots
Portrait of Princess Ka'iulani of Hawaii at
17 as she attended school at the
prestigious Great Harrowden Hall in Northamptonshire. Painting
Eric Lon Caldwell, an Hawai'i artist.
KAIULANI OF HAWAII
The Monarchy's Last Hope
"I must have been born under an unlucky star,
as I seem to have my life planned out for me
in such a way that I cannot alter it..."
summer of 1897
"...An overlooked heroine of
Scottish heritage: Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn, Crown Princess of the
Kingdom of Hawai'i, daughter of Princess Miriam Likelike (sister of Queen
Lili'iuokalani) and Edinburgh Scot Archibald Cleghorn. Learn the intriguing
transoceanic tale of the exquisite and gifted "Hope of Hawai'i". Educated
in Britain, friend of Robert Louis Stevenson, Ka'iulani would lose her Royal
birthright when American interests overthrew the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1893;
after four years semi-stranded in Europe (with one trip to America to plead
her Nation's cause), the Princess returned to her homeland, to comfort her
people and show solidarity with her Aunt the deposed Queen. Despite her
beauty, talent and courage, sorrow and ill health laid Ka'iulani to untimely
rest at age 23 in early1899, shortly after her country's annexation to the
Princess Kaiulani was the daughter of Archibald Scott Cleghorn, a Scotsman.
PRINCESS KA’IULANI…Rose of Two Worlds
by Mindi Reid
"Forth from her land to mine she goes, The Island maid,
the Island rose;
Light of heart and bright of face:
The daughter of a double race.
Her islands here, in Southern sun,
Shall mourn their Kaiulani gone,
And I, in her dear banyan shade,
Look vainly for my little maid.
But our Scots islands far away
Shall glitter with unwonted day,
And cast for once their tempests by
To smile in Kaiulani’s eye."
They may not be amongst the
best lines ever penned by their writer, but the simple verses inscribed in a
red plush autograph book belonging to a schoolgirl have unique significance
to two cultures a world away from each other. And they were heartfelt
verses: Robert Louis
one of Scotland’s most famous literary sons, knew his youthful friend and
critic - the half-Scottish, half-Hawaiian Princess Victoria Ka’iulani (whose
name translates as "royal sacred one" or "the highest point of heaven") -
would soon be entering a strange new world for the sake of her education,
the world of her Edinburgh-born father…the British Isles far from the island
Kingdom home of her birth.
She was born in October of 1875, the daughter of Princess Miriam Kapili
Likelike (pronounced "Lee-keh-lee-keh") and Scotsman Archibald Scott
Cleghorn, prosperous businessman, horticulturist, and eventual Governor of
O’ahu during Queen Lili’uokalani’s reign. Princess Likelike, gifted
musician and renowned society hostess, was sister to Hawai'i’s then reigning
monarch, the brilliant "renaissance man" and cultural visionary David
La’amea Kalakaua; of the "Na Lani ‘Eha" - the four royal siblings comprising
the Kalakaua dynasty - Likelike was the only member fated to produce a
royal child. And upon this "hapa-haole" (part-non-Hawaiian) infant would
rest the fondest hopes of the Kanaka Maoli people for their Nation and place
in the wider world; after her uncle’s untimely death, his also-childless
sister Lili’uokalani would name her niece heir to the endangered Hawaiian
When R.L. Stevenson arrived in Honolulu with his family in January of 1889,
he quickly paid his respects to King Kalakaua, with whom he became fast
friends; the King in turn introduced Stevenson to Archibald Cleghorn,
knowing their shared Edinburgh origins would prove a bond. (Stevenson’s
stepdaughter, Isobel Strong, was wife to the court painter, and had been a
friend of Ka’iulani’s mother, Likelike.) Indeed, Stevenson was very taken
with the Cleghorn household, feeling a particular interest in the
intelligent 13-year-old Princess who thought his hair far too long! A
kindly man with great respect and love for the Polynesian peoples, Ka’iulani
aroused his paternal concern - he feared the schooling abroad that the King
and her father felt proper for a possible future monarch might affect the
child’s health…so dramatic a climate change would it entail. In the long
run, he was correct, but it
was not the great author’s place to influence Ka’iulani’s destiny.
(Ironically - despite her longing to return to Hawai'i - Ka’iulani would
find her native land’s heat distressing when she journeyed home to it long
years later, perhaps as a result of thyroid disease.)
The childhood idyll that was the Stevenson-Ka’iulani friendship has sadly in
recent years been tampered with by some…; although the Princess
was barely thirteen when she made her last farewells to the Stevensons
before sailing to San Francisco en route for Britain), a new myth has
arisen…one postulating a "romance" between the Scottish author and his young
royal friend. It should be unnecessary to call this fabrication
absurd, considering the Princess’ age and station in life - but those
familiar with the details of the historic record of this charming friendship
find they must occasionally do so. The brief happiness of visits (barely
four month’s-worth) shared between ‘Ainahau (the Cleghorn garden estate) and
the Stevenson dwelling further down the beach was of the most innocent
nature…a matter of family gatherings or story-telling sessions. Ka’iulani
was enthralled with Stevenson’s Celtic talent for giving even simple matters
a unique magic: so delighted was she with his tales of the Hawaiian
mouse to whom he played a flageolet, that in her child’s notes to him (often
dinner invitations: the little Princess tried gamely to fill the shoes of
her late mother) she would ask that he "bring his flute!". (On another
occasion she announced that her "…Papa promises good Scotch ‘kaukau’ for all
you folks." [Note: "Kaukau" as used here by the Princess
is not a true Hawaiian
word, but rather a vernacular expression meaning something like "eats".]
Tea parties under the famed ‘Ainahau banyan, or visits in the little thatch
house that had been her mother’s office, were times to talk about the health
of her pony "Fairy"…share opinions about various stories (Stevenson loaned
books to her, and she remained an avid reader throughout her life)…or laugh
at the antics of the beloved pet peacocks.
Knowing Ka’iulani’s trip to Britain was inevitable - RLS did his part to
buoy her spirits regarding the arduous journey to the land of her father’s
birth…and shared exciting legends and folk-tales of Scotland with her.
After all, she was "…the wrong half Edinburgh Scots, like mysel’!" Once she
had left Hawai'i on May 10th, 1889, Ka’iulani would never see her literary
friend again, learning of his death while at her schooling…another sadness
in a life dogged by tragedy and injustice. (A memento of the Ka’iulani/Stevenson
friendship survives in the collections of Hulihe’e Palace on the Kona coast
of the island
of Hawai'i…a beautiful music box given the Princess
by RLS. This treasure plays an assortment of tunes, including a melody by
opera composer Verdi.)
Ka’iulani was named for the Reigning Monarch of England, long a friend to
(Queen Victoria had been
god-mother to Prince Albert, the son of King Kamehameha IV and his consort
the part English Queen Emma; Albert, too, would meet a tragic fate - if at a
younger age than Ka’iulani - dying of a "brain fever" at age 4. Ka’iulani
would travel to England in an elegant frock heavily embellished with peacock
feathers, a deliberate echo perhaps, of the famous peacock gown her Aunt,
Queen Kapi’olani, wore to Queen Victoria’s Jubilee. Several formal photos
were taken of her in this symbolic attire at the outset of her journey.)
From childhood she was raised with complete awareness of the "double race"
complexity of her cultural inheritance, and that unusual demands would be
placed upon her in preparing to become Queen of a sovereign Pacific Kingdom,
whose Indigenous leaders were determined to demonstrate to a Western world
still blinded by racial prejudice that their small Nation was as cultured,
dignified, and scientifically aware as any of the so-called "Great Powers".
(‘Iolani Palace would have electricity before the White House: in March of
1888, Ka’iulani herself was given the honor of "throwing the switch" that
illuminated Honolulu for the first time.) Proud of her dual Scottish and
Kanaka Maoli ancestry, she would become a Victorian royal equally at home
surfing (at which she excelled) as playing croquet; eating poi and raw fish
as "pouring out" at elegant afternoon teas; playing tennis as paddling a
canoe; admiring demonstrations of hula kahiko (this ancient dance tradition
rescued by her uncle the King from missionary-engineered near-oblivion)
while herself learning the ballroom dances of Europe. She could sing, play
guitar and ukulele, had the intense love of flowers and gardening that came
from both her ancestries, and was an expert equestrienne. (Hawaiians had
taken to horses immediately, and developed unique riding traditions of their
own.) She loved feminine gowns and had a knack for sewing…which stood her
in good stead during the latter portion of her European exile, when
Americans had overthrown the monarchy and cut of the Princess’ funds from
home: her friends commented that Ka’iulani could wrap a length of any old
fabric about herself and look exquisite. (Rather like another Princess in a
much later time…the ill-fated Diana.) The artistic creativity that was a
Kalakaua birthright manifested in the Princess’ love of the "Great Masters"
whose works she examined in minute detail in Britain’s and Europe’s museums:
her expressed desire was to become a great painter…and some of her youthful
efforts - showing promise, if not the sophistication a longer life would
have made possible - survive to this day, including a Scottish landscape now
permanently on public display in the Picture Gallery of Hawai'i’s Bernice
Pauahi Bishop Museum. (Where is her copy of Landseer’s “The Challenge”,
one wonders? Intriguing to note Ka’iulani chose to paint this scene of a
red stag calling its rivals, for surely red deer remain one of the great
icons of Scotland. The skull of such a stag is visible in one of the last
photos taken of Ka’iulani at ‘Ainahau, nailed on the outside of the house
behind the front lanai.)
"Island Rose", "Island Flower"…"Pua o Hawai'i" (Hawai'i’s Flower), "Rose of
‘Ainahau". Ka’iulani’s memory has evoked the use of all these floral
names…and her mystique is irrevocably linked with one of Hawai'i’s favorite
scents…that of the Chinese jasmine. It is still believed the Princess
loved these delicate blossoms best of all the flowers planted in the grounds
of her home estate. And quite literally "…her name has left the fragrance
of a flower," (the words of poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox) for to this day the
jasmine is called by the Hawaiianized word for "peacock… "pikake"…in tribute
to the Princess’ attachment to both jasmine and her elegant avian pets.
Even graphics for one version of the seal of the Caledonian Society of
Hawai'i - whose web-pages proudly include a tribute to the Princess -
contains the multi-stranded pikake-blossom lei as a reference to the
importance of the "Rose of ‘Ainahau" in both Hawai'i’s indigenous and
Scottish heritage. No-one gives or receives this most cherished lei
without remembering Ka’iulani.
Despite this awareness in Hawai'i, Princess Ka’iulani is in some respects a
"lost treasure" of the Scottish heritage…an exquisite and gifted Crown
Princess still loved and honored in her homeland,
but largely forgotten in the British Isles where she was educated and spent
a large portion of her tragically short life. (Granted that understanding
of Ka’iulani varies greatly even in Hawai’i: some only know her as a
decorative and tragic “fairy tale Princess”; others are aware of her
strength of character and purpose as a strong Hawaiian royal who stood up
for national independence and the wishes of her people both.)
Aside from a portrait by famed New Zealand artist Kristin Zambucka displayed
on the premises of the Wellingborough Golf Club in Northamptonshire
(formerly "Great Harrowden Hall", seat of the Barons Vaux, and site of
Ka’iulani’s finishing school days), and a replica of her surfboard in the
collection of the British Surfing Museum, no public tribute to her memory is
known to exist in the British Isles…though she spent time in England,
Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well. It is to be hoped that - with the
ongoing revival of rich Kanaka Maoli cultural traditions, and the increasing
availability of the historical truth in regards to the fate of the Hawaiian
Kingdom - Ka’iulani shall assume her place as not only a heroine of the
Hawaiian people, but of her Celtic kinspeople a world away.
is known to have visited the home of famous opera singer Adelina Patti in
Wales; on one of the several trips to Scotland with her father - during
which they visited both Edinburgh and Glasgow - she was given the
opportunity to handle a book written in by Elizabeth I;
in Collington, while a guest of the R. A. MacFie family’s home -
Dreghorn Castle - she was asked to plant a maple tree. Does it yet
stand? If so, it has fared better than the beloved foliage of ‘Ainahau…long
ago consigned to the bulldozer and covered over with cement. (Of the
buildings, only one thatch house from ‘Ainahau was reputed to survive into
recent times… transplanted to the grounds of the famous "Waioli Tea Room" in
Manoa Valley; Stevenson/Ka’iulani enthusiasts in Hawai'i lament its 2003
destruction in a windstorm, although nothing truly original had been part of
the oft-rebuilt structure for many years. The regal mansion Archibald
Cleghorn lovingly built for his daughter while she was away in Britain was
destroyed by fire in the 1920s, after a stint as a small hotel.)
Ka’iulani was devastated when her British guardian - and "second father" -
Theophilus Davies found himself forced to read her the terrible cables
breaking the news of the Monarchy’s fall. A handful of white renegade
businessmen unwilling to see their interests curtailed by the laws of the
Kingdom, conspired and succeeded in forcing Ka’iulani’s beloved Aunt from
her throne, with assistance from representatives of the American military (a
gunboat with weaponry trained on the Royal Palace, and U.S. Marines landed
to supposedly "protect the property" of Americans). A campaign of racist
propaganda, and toadying to the disciples of "Manifest Destiny" in
Washington, D.C., kept matters in foment until "lame duck" President
Cleveland was safely out of office, and the pro-annexation McKinley in his
Although her health suffered a blow she was never to recover from (her
chronic migraines and constant susceptibility to ailments began soon after
receiving the shocking news from home), the Princess was devoted to her
people’s interests, a woman "leel and true" in every respect of her noble
character…one who could not sit idly by while her country was wrested away
from its people. She made her way to America’s shores, and - although not a
“public person” by nature - addressed the press with these confident and
"Seventy years ago Christian America sent over Christian men and women to
give religion and civilization to Hawai'i. Today, three of the sons of
those missionaries are at your capitol asking you to undo their father’s
work. Who sent them? Who gave them the authority to break the
Constitution which they swore they would uphold? Today, I, a poor weak girl
with not one of my people with me and all these ‘Hawaiian’ statesmen against
me, have strength to stand up for the rights of my people. Even now I can
hear their wail in my heart and it gives me strength and courage and I am
strong - strong in the faith of God, strong in the knowledge that I am
right, strong in the strength of seventy million people who in this free
land will hear my cry and will refuse to let their flag cover dishonor to
The "heathen Princess", the clownish "Princess Koylani" of pro-annexation
skits and cartoons, the backward "savage" anti-Monarchy
propaganda-merchants tried to paint her as, proved quite a surprise as she
traveled across the United States following her education; instead of the
caricature cannibal expected, the paparazzi of the day were confronted by an
exquisite Royal Princess wearing the latest Paris gowns and speaking
cultured English (or ’Olelo Hawai’i, French and German, if the occasion
demanded). The continual attempts to present all those of Kanaka Maoli
heritage as illiterate "children" incapable of ruling themselves backfired
whenever the Hawaiian-Scottish Princess arrived upon the scene. (As a San
Francisco Examiner reporter would snort reprovingly in print, "A barbarian
princess? Not a bit of it. Not even a hemi-semi-demi-barbarian. Rather
the very flower - an exotic - of civilization. The Princess Kaiulani is
charming, fascinating, individual." And yet another reporter would note,
"She is beautiful…there is no portrait that does justice to her expressive,
small, proud face. She…holds herself like a Princess, like a Hawaiian -
and I know of no simile more descriptive of grace than this last…Her accent
says London, her figure says New York…but her heart says Hawai'i.") She had
spoken for her people with authority, as her Ali’i (royal) calling demanded,
and her loyalty to her aunt and Queen never wavered. Had it not been for a
few cruel tricks of historical fate (such as the outbreak of the
Spanish-American war and the coming to power of an American President
devoted to the idea of "Manifest Destiny"), Princess Ka’iulani might have
turned the tide and truly saved her nation, as Ellen Wright Prendergast
credited her with in a honoring song; as it was, many a guilty American
conscience must later have endured uncomfortable memories of the noble and
courageous Princess, and the truth she represented. Though her efforts in
Washington, D.C. failed, the Princess – as late historian Glen Grant noted –
continued to work in her Nation’s interest once home, giving one notable
lu’au to annexation commissioners…during which the she made certain Hawaiian
community leaders could present the anti-annexation petitions their
political societies had compiled.
She was only 23 when she died…finally at home in Hawai'i, but health broken
by a life-time of losses - of her governess, god-mother, mother, uncle,
beloved half-sister, guardian, and country. At two a.m. on the morning of
March 6th, 1899, the peacocks dwelling in the 10-acre grounds of her
magnificent home estate ‘Ainahau ("land of hau trees" or "cool place")
abruptly began to scream…a terrible din which alerted all of Honolulu to the
fact that the brave half-Scottish Princess who had traveled so far, seen so
much, and made such gallant efforts to save her Hawaiian nation had only
returned home to defeat, ill health (it is likely she suffered from thyroid
disease), and death. To this day, legend has it that the cherished pets of
"The Princess of the Peacocks" knew the spirit of their mistress had
fled…some of them becoming so inconsolably raucous as a result that the
Princess’ stricken father had to have them shot.
Even her political enemies (who had sneered at her as the “British
Princess”, or insultingly suggested the “ex-Princess” could open a jewelry
shop!) expressed their grief at her unexpected passing: "It was impossible
not to love her," acknowledged the American-controlled Honolulu press.
Despite the continued noble efforts of her aunt the Queen and loyal
Royalists to bring America to account for the overthrow of the rightful
Hawaiian government (and subsequent illegal annexation of the island
nation), with the death of their beloved Crown Princess, many Hawaiians felt
that hope for restoration of their Nation during their life-times was at an
end. But the influence of the short life of this queenly young woman
continues to this very day…inspiring people of many walks of life and
differing backgrounds to various achievements in her honor. Two communities
(and many individuals with ancestral ties to both) take great pride in her,
and justly so.
Today Ka’iulani’s fascinating duality and unbowed Hawaiian spirit inspires
artists, musicians, poets and dramatists to creative attempts to evoke its
essence, and explore the Princess’ significance to the complicated modern
Hawaiian political and cultural scene. The renowned musical duo "HAPA"
(whose name reflects the respective Kanaka Maoli/Caucasian ethnic origins of
the musicians) have produced one of the loveliest of all the innumerable
songs that have been composed in Ka’iulani’s honor since her birth: "Nani
Wale o Ka’iulani"… a song perpetuating a 19th century Hawaiian form in which
English and ‘Olelo Hawai'i (Hawaiian language) lyrics are mixed together.
(Their "In the Name of Love" CD’s cover art features the two original
artists dramatically juxtaposed, as same-yet-different cultural/spiritual
"warriors", armed with guitars…Keli’i Kaneali’i barefoot, batik fabric
around his hips, Barry Flannagan in boots and kilt.) "Our love for you
forever will remain…; Nani wale o Ka’iulani, There’s beauty in the sound of
your name. Kou aloha mau loa e Ka’iulani…Our love for you forever will
remain… Precious flower in the misty rain…"
New books about or including references to the Princess’ life continue to
appear, and old ones have been revised or reprinted; the Princess’ tragic
story has inspired Russian poetry, and even a major work of
science-fiction. Her own words in defense of her country have been
rediscovered and now serve as inspiration to a new generation exploring
means to insure cultural survival and the correction of wrongs done a
Paintings depicting the cherished Scottish-Hawaiian princess are everywhere
in the Islands…found in schools, hotels, museums and even dress-shops (a
famous fashion-line is named for her); a mural of Ka’iulani and Stevenson
discussing Scotland under the ‘Ainahau banyan (by artist and Ka’iulani
admirer Niki Fuller) graces a wall in Honolulu’s St. Francis Hospice. The
Princess has been immortalized in everything from a life-sized wax figure to
delicate porcelain statuettes; china plates, music boxes, champagne flutes,
diamond-studded cameo brooches, and commemorative coins have carried her
image. And while nothing remains of the 10-acre botanical wonderland that
Archibald Cleghorn (known as Hawai'i’s "Father of Parks") labored long
years to perfect (his gift of it to the new "Territory" of Hawai'i - in
hopes it would remain a perpetual park to his daughter’s memory - was
rejected)…signs of the rebirth of a "spirit of place" are beginning to
appear in overbuilt Waikiki: in October of 1999 a heroic-sized statue of
Ka’iulani feeding one of her peacocks made its debut on a small revitalized
parcel of the old ‘Ainahau property, to henceforth educate visitors and
residents alike about the Princess’ life.
Perhaps the most intriguing and complex artistic homage paid to the Crown
Princess in modern times was that of "Ka’iulani: A Cantata for the
Theatre"…a production of Honolulu’s prestigious multicultural theatre
company, Kumu Kahua. In this highly innovative and politically
uncompromising modern play, the Princess is portrayed at one point by two
actors simultaneously…a woman of European ancestry, and a woman of Kanaka
Maoli. Having met with enthusiasm during its Honolulu, Los Angeles and
Washington, D.C. performances, the production traveled on to participate in
the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where its theme of submerged nationhood
impressed and moved the Scottish audience…who perhaps found it easy to
identify with both sides of the Princess’ heritage…a resonance of historic
injustices, and yet unresolved political futures.
Despite its surface aura of tragedy, of promise cut short, Princess
Ka’iulani’s "story" is by no means one of failure or defeat…nor is it ended.
While most of her biographers close with that sad day on which the
Princess was laid to rest in the quiet of the Royal crypt at Mauna ‘Ala,
the tale of a subsequent century of Ka’iulani’s influence needs to be told.
Although justice for her beloved people has long been deferred, a sense of
her spiritual inspiration is ever-increasing…both home in Hawai'i and in the
larger world: from the achievements of students at the impoverished but
academically excellent school named for her, to the installation of the
heroic-sized statue in Waikiki, Princess Ka’iulani’s name is gaining wider
and wider recognition. The need for a superb, Hawaiian-culture rooted
historical documentary on the Princess’ life – something along the lines of
a Ken Burn’s documentary, drawing on the great wealth of historic materials
that exist, including the extensive Hawaiian language press of Ka’iulani’s
day – is under increasing discussion by artists, cultural practitioners,
educators and activists in Hawai’i.
That Ka’iulani’s "Hawaiian-ness" and "Scottishness" are of symbiotic
importance is indicated not just by the note taken of her in the usual
Scottish cultural venues, but perhaps most tellingly by a document spotted
on the internet: "Huaka’i I Kekokia" ("Journey to Scotland"). In the
‘Olelo Hawai'i text created by a language student at the University of
Hawai'i, the heart-warming reality of the language’s rebirth (Hawaiian was
actively belittled and suppressed after the overthrow, as the demise of the
vibrant Hawaiian language press of the time attests) is made manifest in an
account of Ka’iulani’s visits to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and…
"…ke kakelo o Dreghorn. Ia lakou i noho ai i laila, ua kowelo ha’aheo
ka hae Hawai'i ma ka ‘ale’o o ua hale la. Kaulana keia hale, no ka mea ua
kipa mai ka mo’i o Kalakaua i keia hale ho’okahi, a i kona noho ‘ana, ua
kono ‘ia’o ia e kanu i kekahi kumu la’au ma Dreghorn. No laila, ua kanu ‘o
ia i ’elua kumu la’ua, a i ko Ka’iulani hele ‘ana i laila, ua kono ‘ia’o ua
kekahi e kanu i kumu la’au…"
…which describes how Ali’i (royalty) were entertained at Dreghorn Castle
(from whose tower the Hawaiian flag was flown in celebration), and invited
to plant some very special trees. Whether or not the tree Ka’iulani planted
in Scotland survives, the spirit of the Scottish-Hawaiian Rose will live
Mindi Reid is a writer currently living in the Puget Sound region.
I've recently come across this very Victorian but quite remarkably
strong poem by Australia's noted poet, Agnes Rose-Soley. She was
actually born in Scotland...another Ka'iulani/Scotland connection.
The Dirge of
A.R. Rose-Soley, San Francisco, March
Flag! That was pulled down. The Hawaiian Ladies’ Patriotic Society wrote to
Admiral Miller, asking to be allowed its possession.
He never answered.
My own flag, the Royal Standard,
was shown to me by a Washington young lady in her drawing room.” -Ex
have nothing to live for now. They have taken all my life from me.” –
Kaiulani! Kaiulani! Princess of
the jeweled seas, Kaiulani! Kaiulani! sighs the scented tropic breeze.
Kaiulani! dove-notes echo through palm fronds and darkling trees.
Kaiulani! Thy brown nation, mourning lowly on its knees, Moans and wails
in plaintive cadence, draining sorrow to the lees, And the burden of its
sadness over reef and ocean flees.
Send back our Flag!
Oh men of white ambition and of
power, Who robbed our Daughter of her queenly dower, Relent to this,
her dark, her silent hour
Give back our Flag!
Above her where she lies, a
fragile flower, Stricken where ruthless hands despoiled her bower,
While we crouch round, our tears a blinding shower, Hang up our Flag!
Send back our Flag!
Ye mock us with white sympathy and
sigh, With formal speech, strange flag hung half-mast high, No flag
have we above her tomb to fly,
Give back our Flag!
What boots it that our nimble
fingers ply, That
leis of royal shade
about her lie, That royal
still meets the eye? Give her her Flag!
Send back her Flag!
Ye broke her heart, oh men with
white men’s greed, Her royal heart, with grasping word and deed, All
careless of a royal virgin’s need,
Give back her Flag!
such a little thing for which we plead, Little to you, for have ye not
decreed, That all Hawaii’s treasures are your meed? Return her
Send back our Flag!
Ye won it not, ye wrenched it. We
were free To worship our own chiefs of high degree--- Ye trampled on
them and their royalty,
Give back her Flag!
Shall your white women hold it
fast, and She Who sleeps among the moaning of the sea, Even in
Death’s sad sleep despoiled be?
Bring back her Flag!
Send back our Flag!
Ye came and preached your tale of
love to all, Of God’s great tenderness whate’er befall, Of white man’s
answer to brown man’s call,
And stole our Flag!
Doth not our legend ‘mid your
precepts fall--- How runs it?
on the wall”--- Ah, lest your
pride of greatness fade and pall,
Give back our Flag!
Send back our Flag!
took my life,” our darling made her moan, Have ye no pity, are your
hearts of stone? Unto her heart, now pulseless, and alone,
Give back the Flag!
Kaiulani! Kaiulani! Princess of
the jeweled isles, Kaiulani! whom our love and gladness evermore
beguiles, Can’st thou hear the sound of weeping, rising thro’ they
Where thy royal
woos his golden mate with feathered wiles, Where we crouch beneath thy
banyan while the white man struts and smiles, Can’st thou hear the
sound of weeping, rising thro’ thy palm-crowned aisles?
-- As Published in The
Independent, Honolulu, May 13th,
In the collections of
Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, there is a painting Ka'iulani did in about
1891 or so, of what has always been called a "Scottish landscape". I've
seen it on display myself (and I was the person who paid YEARS ago for
Bishop to have it photographed). The image has been published on the
back of the book about bagpipes in the Hawaiian islands.
In all this time, it
hadn't occurred to me that perhaps the greater Scottish community might
be able to identify the landscape. Please email us if you can identify
a couple of general history books on the islands...
This comment system requires
you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an
account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or
Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these
companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All
comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator
has approved your comment.