The Spirit of the Nation/Grainne Ṁaol



John Bull was a bodach, as rich as a Jew—
As griping, as grinding, and conscienceless too;
A wheedler, a shuffler, a rogue by wholesale,
And a swindler moreover, says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


John Bull was a banker, pursy and fat,
With gold in both pockets, and plenty of that;
And he tempted his neighbours to sell their entail—
'Tis by scheming he prospers, says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


John Bull was a farmer, with cottiers galore—
Stout "chawbacons" once, that like bullocks could roar;
Hard work and low wages, and Peel's sliding scale,
Have pulled down their courage, says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


John Bull was a bruiser, sturdy and stout—
A boisterous bully—at bottom a clout—
For when briskly opposed he was apt to turn tail—
Brother Jonathan fibbed him, says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


John Bull was a merchant—many his ships,
His harbours, his dock-yards, and fine building slips;
And the ocean he claimed as his rightful entail—
Monsieur Parley-vous bars that, says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


John Bull had dependencies, many and great—
Rich, fertile, extensive—each one an estate;
But he pilfered and robbed them—wholesale and retail—
The Canadas prove it, says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


Master John in the East has been "going it tight"
(His wont when opponents are slow to show fight)—
Like a Bull in a China shop, whisking his tail—
That splore isn't ended, says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


John Bull worshipped fire beneath Indian skies—
Made war upon women, and children likewise—
Razed bazaars, burned cities and forts in detail—
Oh, the barbarous Vandal! says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


John Bull was a Saint in the Western Clime,
Stood fast for the truths of the Gospel sublime,
Vowed that no other faith in the end could avail;
Is't The Juggernaut Champion? says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


John Bull had a sister fair to be seen,
With a roseate blush, and a mantle of green,
And a soft swelling bosom!—On hill or in dale
Oh, where could you fellow sweet GRAINNE ṀAOL!


And John lov'd his sister without e'er a flam,
As the fox loves a pullet, the vulture a lamb;
So he paid her a visit—but mark the sad tale,
My Title Deed's vanished! says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


Then he ruined her commerce, and ravaged her plains;
Razed her altars, sowed strife, kept her children in chains,
While pitch-caps, triangles, and gibbets, wholesale,
Recorded John's love to poor GRAINNE ṀAOL!


But one of her children, more bould than the rest,
Took it into his noddle to make a request!
Our rights, Uncle John! Else—our flag on the gale!
"He soon got an instalment," says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


And, now he is at the Ould Growler again,
With his logic, and law, and—three millions of men!
And nothing will plaise him, just now, but Repale;
"Mo seact n-anam astig tú,"[2] says GRAINNE ṀAOL!


But, should John turn gruff, and decline the demand;
What means of success may be at our command?
Quite true, he is humbled, and now getting frail,
My "Nation" will tell you, says GRAINNE ṀAOL!



"If stubborn and wilful, he still should refuse
To hear our just claims, or submit to our views,
And resolve, in his folly, to hold 'The Entail,'
Dan'll 'kick his Dumbarton,'[3] for GRAINNE ṀAOL!"

  1. Vulgarly written and rightly pronounced Granu Wail.
  2. "Seven times as dear as the soul within me!"
  3. Our printer's devil declares that this is a North British phrase for "The Seat of Honour!" How the Old Lady learned to talk Scotch it is not for us to explain.