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Balmoral Castle

William Topaz McGonagall 1825 – 1902 (Greyfriars Parish, Edinburgh)

Beautiful Balmoral Castle,
Most handsome to be seen,
Highland home of the Empress of India,
Great Britain's Queen.

Your woods and waters and
Mountains high are most
Beautiful to see,
Near by Balmoral Castle
And the dark river Dee.

Then there's the hill of Cairngorm
To be seen from afar,
And the beautiful heathery hills
Of dark Lochnagar,
And the handsome little village-
The Castleton o' Braemar-
Which is most beautiful to see,
Near by Balmoral Castle
And the dark river Dee.

Then there's the handsome little church
Of Crathie- most beautiful to be seen ;
And the Queen goes there on Sunday
To hear the Word of God Most solemn and serene,
Which is most beautiful to see,
Nor far from Balmoral Castle
And the dark river Dee.

Then, when she finds herself
At leisure, she goes for to see
Her old female acquaintances
That lives on the river Dee,
And reads the Bible unto them,
Which is most beautiful to see,
Near by Balmoral Castle
And the dark river Dee.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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William Topaz McGonagall

William Topaz McGonagall (March 1825 – 29 September 1902) was an Irish weaver, poet and actor who lived in Scotland. He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited no recognition of, or concern for, his peers' opinions of his work. He wrote about 200 poems, including "The Tay Bridge Disaster" and "The Famous Tay Whale", which are widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature. Groups throughout Scotland engaged him to make recitations from his work, and contemporary descriptions of these performances indicate that many listeners were appreciating McGonagall's skill as a comic music hall character. Collections of his verse remain popular, with several volumes available today. McGonagall has been lampooned as the worst poet in British history. The chief criticisms are that he was deaf to poetic metaphor and unable to scan correctly. His only apparent understanding of poetry was his belief that it needed to rhyme. McGonagall's fame stems from the humorous effects these shortcomings are considered to generate in his work. Scholars argue that his inappropriate rhythms, weak vocabulary, and ill-advised imagery combine to make his work amongst the most unintentionally amusing dramatic poetry in the English language. His work is in a long tradition of narrative ballads and verse written and published about great events and tragedies, and widely circulated among the local population as handbills. In an age before radio and television, their voice was one way of communicating important news to an avid public. more…

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    "Balmoral Castle" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41786/balmoral-castle>.

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