[Dr. Blair said that the politics of Burns smelt of the smithy, which,
interpreted, means, that they were unstatesman-like, and worthy of a
country ale-house, and an audience of peasants. The Poem gives us a
striking picture of the humorous and familiar way in which the hinds
and husbandmen of Scotland handle national topics: the smithy is a
favourite resort, during the winter evenings, of rustic politicians;
and national affairs and parish scandal are alike discussed. Burns was
in those days, and some time after, a vehement Tory: his admiration of
"Chatham's Boy," called down on him the dusty indignation of the
When Guildford good our pilot stood,
And 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, what-reck, 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 blood 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 stoure,
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 Grenville'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 heavenly 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, and 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' blood
To make it guid in law, man.