Feelings ran high (and continue to do so) over the Act of Union, 1707, which suppressed Scotland's Parliament and her existence as an independent political entity. The `parcel of rogues' were the 31 Scottish commissioners who sold out to England, and were well rewarded with land and money for their treachery. The Sark and the Tweed are the rivers marking the western and eastern borders with England.

Burns, being a placeman of the London government because of his position in the Excise, never acknowledged his authorship of this song in his lifetime.

   Fareweel to a' our Scottish fame,
      Fareweel our ancient glory!        
   Fareweel ev'n to the Scottish name,   
      Sae famed in martial story!
   Now Sark rins over Solway sands,
      An Tweed rins to the ocean,
   To mark where England's province stands ---
      Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

   What force or guile could not subdue
      Thro many warlike ages
   Is wrought now by a coward few
      For hireling traitor's wages.
   The English steel we could disdain,
      Secure in valour's station;
   But English gold has been our bane ---
      Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!

   O, would, or I had seen the day
      That Treason thus could sell us,
   My auld grey head had lien in clay,
      Wi Bruce and loyal Wallace!
   But pith and power, till my last hour, 
      I'll mak this declaration:-
   `We're bought and sold for English gold' ---
      Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!