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Beautiful Balmerino

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

Beautiful Balmermo on the bonnie banks of Tay,
It's a very bonnie spot in the months of June or May;
The scenery there is charming and fascinating to see,
Especially the surroundings of the old Abbey,

Which is situated in the midst of trees on a rugged hill,
Which visitors can view at their own free will;
And the trees and shrubberies are lovely to view,
Especially the trees on each side of the avenue

Which leads up to the Abbey amongst the trees;
And in the summer time it's frequented with bees,
And also crows with their unmusical cry,
Which is a great annoyance to the villagers that live near by.

And there in the summer season the mavis sings,
And with her charming notes the woodland rings;
And the sweet-scented zephyrs is borne upon the gale,
Which is most refreshing and invigorating to inhale.

Then there's the stately Castle of Balmerino
Situated in the midst of trees, a magnificent show,
And bordering on the banks o' the silvery Tay,
Where visitors can spend a happy holiday.

As they view the castle and scenery around
It will help to cheer their spirits I'll be bound;
And if they wish to view Wormit Bay
They can walk along the braes o' the silvery Tay.

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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…

All William Topaz McGonagall poems | William Topaz McGonagall Books

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    "Beautiful Balmerino" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41788/beautiful-balmerino>.

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