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The Dean Of The Faculty

A New Ballad
TUNE: The Dragon Of Wantley

 

Burns Original

Standard English Translation


1.
Dire was the hate at Old Harlaw
That Scot to Scot did carry;
And dire the discord Langside saw
For the beauteous, hapless Mary.
But Scot to 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 the Faculty's Dean, Sir.
2.
This Hal for genius, wit, and lore
Among the first was number'd;
But pious Bob, 'mid learning's store
Commandment the Tenth remember'd.
Yet simple Bob the victory got,
And won his heart's desire:
Which shows that Heaven can boil the pot,
Tho' the Deil piss in the fire.
3.
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.
4.
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 that he has the Angel met
That met the Ass of Balaam.
5.
In your heretic sins may ye live and die,
Ye heretic Eight-and-Thirty!
But accept, ye sublime majority,
My congratulations hearty!
With your honors, as with a certain King,
In your servants this is striking,
The more incapacity they bring
The more they're to your liking.



Dire was the hate at Old Harlaw
That Scot to Scot did carry;
And dire the discord Langside saw
For the beauteous, hapless Mary.
But Scot to Scot never met so hot,
Or were more in fury seen, Sir,
Than betwixt Hal and Bob for the famous job,
Who should be the Faculty's Dean, Sir.

This Hal for genius, wit, and lore
Among the first was numbered;
But pious Bob, amid learning's store
Commandment the Tenth remembered.
Yet simple Bob the victory got,
And won his heart's desire:
Which shows that Heaven can boil the pot,
Though the Devil piss 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, do you see,
To their gratis grace and goodness.

As once on Pisgah purged 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 opened yet,
Till for eloquence you hail him,
And swear that he has the Angel met
That met the Ass of Balaam.

In your heretic sins may you live and die,
You heretic Eight-and-Thirty!
But accept, you sublime majority,
My congratulations hearty!
With your honours, as with a certain King,
In your servants this is striking,
The more incapacity they bring
The more they are to your liking.

 

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