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Beautiful Nairn

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

All ye tourists who wish to be away
From the crowded city for a brief holiday;
The town of Nairn is worth a visit, I do confess,
And it's only about fifteen miles from Inverness.

And in the summer season it's a very popular bathing-place,
And the visitors from London and Edinburgh finds solace,
As they walk along the yellow sand beach inhaling fresh air;
Besides, there's every accommodation for ladies and gentlemen there.

Then there's a large number of bathing coaches there,
And the climate is salubrious, and very warm the air;
And every convenience is within the bathers' reach,
Besides, there's very beautiful walks by the sea beach.

The visitors to Nairn can pass away the time agreeably,
By viewing Tarbetness, which slopes downwards to the sea;
And Queen Street is one of the prettiest thoroughfares,
Because there's splendid shops in it, and stocked with different wares.

And there's ornamental grounds, and lovely shady nooks,
Which is a great advantage to visitors while reading their books;
And there's a certain place known as the Ladies' Beach,
So private that no intruder can them reach.

And there's many neat cottages with gardens very nice,
And picturesque villas, which can be rented at a reasonable price;
Besides, there's a golf course for those that such a game seeks,
Which would prove a great attraction to the knights of clubs and cleeks.

The surrounding scenery of Nairn is magnificent to be seen,
Especially its fertile fields and woodlands so green;
Besides, not far from Nairn, there's Cawdor Castle, the ancient seat
Of the noble Thanes of Cawdor, with its bold turrets so neat.

And its massive proportions is very imposing to see,
Because the arched entrance is secured by a drawbridge and a fosse;
And visitors will be allowed all over the grounds to roam,
Besides shown over the castle if the Earl is not at home.

The scenery surrounding the castle is charming in the summertime,
And the apples in the orchard there is very fine,
Also the flower-beds are most beautiful to see,
Especially in the month of June, when the birds sing merrily.

Then there's the ancient stronghold of the Bays of Lochloy,
And visitors when they see it will it heartily enjoy;
And a little further on there's the blasted heath of Macbeth,
And a hillock where the witches are wont to dance till out of breath.

And as the visitors to Nairn walk along the yellow sand,
They can see, right across the Moray Firth, the Black Island so grand,
With its productive fields and romantic scenery,
And as the tourist gazes thereon his heart fills with ecstasy.

And Darnaway Castle is well worthy of praise,
And to oblige all visitors there are open days,
When they can see the castle where one thousand warriors in all
Oft have assembled in the Earl of Randolph's Hall.

And in conclusion I will say for good bathing Nairn is the best,
And besides its pleasant scenery is of historical interest;
And the climate gives health to many visitors while there,
Therefore I would recommend Nairn for balmy pure air.

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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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