The Dean of Faculty. A new Ballad (Poem by Robert Burns)

Old Poem

The Dean of Faculty
A new Ballad
By Robert Burns


Dire was the hate at old Harlaw,
    That Scot to Scot did carry;
And dire the discord Langside saw,
    For beauteous, hapless Mary:
But Scot with Scot ne’er met so hot,
    Or were more in fury seen, Sir,
Than ’twixt Hal and Bob for the famous job — 
    Who should be Faculty’s Dean, Sir. — 


This Hal for genius, wit, and lore,
    Among the first was number’d;
But pious Bob, ‘mid learning’s store,
    Commandment tenth remember’d. — 
Yet simple Bob the victory got,
    And won his heart’s desire;
Which shows that heaven can boil the pot,
    Though the devil p — s in the fire. — 


Squire Hal besides had in this case
    Pretensions rather brassy,
For talents to deserve a place
    Are qualifications saucy;
So, their worships of the Faculty,
    Quite sick of merit’s rudeness,
Chose one who should owe it all, d’ye see,
    To their gratis grace and goodness. — 


As once on Pisgah purg’d was the sight
    Of a son of Circumcision,
So may be, on this Pisgah height,
    Bob’s purblind, mental vision:
Nay, Bobby’s mouth may be open’d yet
    Till for eloquence you hail him,
And swear he has the angel met
    That met the Ass of Balaam.

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