Verse > Harvard Classics > Robert Burns > Poems and Songs
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Robert Burns (1759–1796).  Poems and Songs.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
129. The Calf
 
 
  To the Rev. JAMES STEVEN, on his text, MALACHI, ch. iv. vers. 2. “And ye shall go forth, and grow up, as Calves of the stall.”
 
 
RIGHT, sir! your text I’ll prove it true,
  Tho’ heretics may laugh;
For instance, there’s yourself just now,
  God knows, an unco calf.
 
And should some patron be so kind,        5
  As bless you wi’ a kirk,
I doubt na, sir but then we’ll find,
  Ye’re still as great a stirk.
 
But, if the lover’s raptur’d hour,
  Shall ever be your lot,        10
Forbid it, ev’ry heavenly Power,
  You e’er should be a stot!
 
Tho’ when some kind connubial dear
  Your but-and-ben adorns,
The like has been that you may wear        15
  A noble head of horns.
 
And, in your lug, most reverend James,
  To hear you roar and rowt,
Few men o’ sense will doubt your claims
  To rank amang the nowt.        20
 
And when ye’re number’d wi’ the dead,
  Below a grassy hillock,
With justice they may mark your head—
  “Here lies a famous bullock!”
 

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