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Ballad on the American War

by Robert Burns, 1784

When Guilford good our pilot stood
  An' did our hellim thraw, man,
Ae night, at tea, began a plea,
  Within America, man:
Then up they gat the maskin-pat,
  And in the sea did jaw, man;
An' did nae less, in full congress,
  Than quite refuse our law, man.

Then thro' the lakes Montgomery takes,
  I wat he was na slaw, man;
Down Lowrie's Burn he took a turn,
  And Carleton did ca', man:
But yet, whatreck, he, at Quebec,
  Montgomery-like did fa', man,
Wi' sword in hand, before his band,
  Amang his en'mies a', man.

Poor Tammy Gage within a cage
  Was kept at Boston-ha', man;
Till Willie Howe took o'er the knowe
  For Philadelphia, man;
Wi' sword an' gun he thought a sin
  Guid Christian bluid to draw, man;
But at New York, wi' knife an' fork,
  Sir-loin he hacked sma', man.

Burgoyne gaed up, like spur an' whip,
  Till Fraser brave did fa', man;
Then lost his way, ae misty day,
  In Saratoga shaw, man.
Cornwallis fought as lang's he dought,
  An' did the Buckskins claw, man;
But Clinton's glaive frae rust to save,
  He hung it to the wa', man.

Then Montague, an' Guilford too,
  Began to fear, a fa', man;
And Sackville dour, wha stood the stour,
  The German chief to thraw, man:
For Paddy Burke, like ony Turk,
  Nae mercy had at a', man;
An' Charlie Fox threw by the box,
  An' lows'd his tinkler jaw, man.

Then Rockingham took up the game,
  Till death did on him ca', man;
When Shelburne meek held up his cheek,
  Conform to gospel law, man:
Saint Stephen's boys, wi' jarring noise,
  They did his measures thraw, man;
For North an' Fox united stocks,
  An' bore him to the wa', man.

Then clubs an' hearts were Charlie's cartes,
  He swept the stakes awa', man,
Till the diamond's ace, of Indian race,
  Led him a sair faux pas, man:
The Saxon lads, wi' loud placads,
  On Chatham's boy did ca', man;
An' Scotland drew her pipe an' blew,
  "Up, Willie, waur them a', man!"

Behind the throne then Granville's gone,
  A secret word or twa, man;
While slee Dundas arous'd the class
  Be-north the Roman wa', man:
An' Chatham's wraith, in heav'nly graith,
  (Inspired bardies saw, man),
Wi' kindling eyes, cry'd, "Willie, rise!
  Would i hae fear'd them a', man?"

But, word an' blow, North, Fox, and Co.
  Gowff'd Willie like a ba', man;
Till Suthron raise, an' coost their claise
  Behind him in a raw, man:
An' Caledon threw by the drone,
  An' did her whittle draw, man;
An' swoor fu' rude, thro' dirt an' bluid,
  To mak it guid in law, man.

Published in Poems and Songs of Robert Burns

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