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On his Text, Malachi, iv. 2.

"And ye shall go forth, and

grow up as CALVES of the stall."

RIGHT, sir! your text I'll prove it true,
Though heretics may laugh;

For instance, there's yoursel' just now,
God knows, an unco calf!

And should some patron be so kind,
As bless you wi' a kirk,

I doubt na, sir, but then we'll find

Ye're still as great a stirk.

year-old bullock

1 Afterwards minister of one of the Scotch churches in London, and ultimately of Kilwinning, in Ayrshire. The tradition in the family of Mr. Gavin Hamilton is, that the poet, in passing to the church at Mauchline, called at Mr. Hamilton's, who, being confined with the gout, could not accompany him, but desired him, as parents do with children, to bring home a note of the text. At the conclusion of the service, Burns called again, and sitting down for a minute at Mr. Hamilton's business-table, scribbled these verses, by way of a compliance with the request. From a memorandum by Burns himself, it would appear that there was also a wager with Mr. Hamilton as to his producing a poem in a certain time, and that he gained it by inditing The Calf.

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But if the lover's raptured hour

Shall ever be your lot,

Forbid it, every heavenly power,
You e'er should be a stot!


Though, when some kind, connubial dear, Your but-and-ben adorns, kitchen and parlor The like has been that you may wear

A noble head of horns.

And in your lug, most reverend James,
To hear you roar and rowte,



Few men o' sense will doubt your claims
To rank amang the nowte.

And when ye're numbered wi' the dead,
Below a grassy hillock,

Wi' justice they may mark your head
"Here lies a famous bullock!"



Mr. William Chalmers, writer in Ayr, who had drawn up an assignation of the bard's property, was in love, and it occurred to him to ask Burns to address the admired object in his behalf. The poet, who had seen the lady, but was scarcely acquainted with her,

readily complied by producing the following specimen of vicarious courtship.

Wr' braw new branks in mickle pride, bridle

And eke a braw new brechan,


My Pegasus I'm got astride,

And up Parnassus pechin';

Whiles owre a bush wi' downward crush,

The doited beastie stammers;

Then up he gets, and off he sets,

For sake o' Willie Chalmers.

I doubt na, lass, that weel-kenned name
May cost a pair o' blushes;

I am nae stranger to your fame,
Nor his warm urgèd wishes.
Your bonny face sae mild and sweet,

His honest heart enamours,

And faith ye'll no be lost a whit,

Though waired on Willie Chalmers.




Auld Truth hersel' might swear ye're fair,
And Honour safely back her,
And Modesty assume your air,
And ne'er a ane mistak' her:
And sic twa love-inspiring een
Might fire even holy palmers ;
Nae wonder, then, they've fatal been
To honest Willie Chalmers.

I doubt na fortune may you shore
Some mim-mou'd pouthered priestie,

Fu' lifted up wi' Hebrew lore,

And band upon his breastie :
But oh! what signifies to you
His lexicons and grammars ;
The feeling heart's the royal blue,
And that's wi' Willie Chalmers.

Some gapin' glowrin' country laird
May warsle for your favour;

May claw his lug, and straik his beard,

And hoast up some palaver.

My bonny maid, before ye wed

Sic clumsy-witted hammers,

Seek Heaven for help, and barefit skelp
Awa' wi' Willie Chalmers.

Forgive the Bard! my fond regard

For ane that shares my bosom,

Inspires my Muse to gie'm his dues,

For deil a hair I roose him.

May powers aboon unite you soon,

And fructify your amours,
And every year come in mair dear
To you and Willie Chalmers.










"An honest man's the noblest work of God." - POPE.

HAS auld Kilmarnock seen the deil?
Or great M'Kinlay 2 thrawn his heel?
Or Robertson again grown weel



To preach and read?

Na, waur than a'!" cries ilka chiel -
Tam Samson's dead!

Kilmarnock lang may grunt and grane,
And sigh, and sob, and greet her lane,
And cleed her bairns, man, wife, and


In mourning weed;

To Death she's dearly paid the kane
Tam Samson's dead!

The brethren o' the mystic level

May hing their head in woefu' bevel,





1 Thomas Samson was one of the poet's Kilmarnock friends a nursery and seedsman of good credit, a zealous sportsman, and a good fellow.

2 A preacher, a great favourite with the million. See The Ordination, stanza ii. — B.

3 Another preacher, an equal favourite with the few, who was at that time ailing. For him also see The Ordination, stanza ix. B.

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4 For a minister to read his sermons, as is often done by those of moderate denomination, is often a cause of great unpopularity in Scotland.

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