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Address to General Dumourier

You're welcome to Despots, Dumourier; You're welcome to Despots, Dumourier: How does Dampiere do? Aye, and Bournonville too? Why did they not come along with you, Dumourier? I will fight France with you, Dumourier, I will fight France with you, Dumourier: I will fight France with you, I will take my chance with you; By my soul I'll dance with you, Dumourier. Then let us fight about, Dumourier; Then let us fight about, Dumourier; Then let us fight about, Till freedom's spark is out, Then we'll be damn'd, no doubt, Dumourier.


Liz Lochhead

About this work

This is a poem by Robert Burns. It was written in 1793 and is read here by Liz Lochhead.

More about this poem

Charles François Dumouriez (1739-1823) – Burns misspelt his name – was a general in the French army who joined with the revolutionaries and won the key battle of Valmy which repulsed an invasion by the Austrians and the Germans in 1792.

However, he was defeated by the Austrians at Neerwinden in 1793, and subsequently denounced as a traitor, before being summoned to Paris. His response was to join the Royalist cause.

Burns’s song is a parody of Robin Adair, and was most likely written after he had found about Dumouriez’s defection to the Austrians. Dampièrre (l.3) was one of the generals who served in Dumouriez’s army, while Bournonville (l.4) was an emissary of the Convention.

Ralph McLean

Themes for this poem


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