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Beautiful Newport on the Braes o' the Silvery Tay

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

Bonnie Mary, the Maid o' the Tay,
Come! Let's go, and have a holiday
In Newport, on the braes o' the silvery Tay,
'Twill help to drive dull care away.

The scenery there is most enchanting to be seen,
Especially the fine mansions with their shrubbery green;
And the trees and ivy are beautiful to view
Growing in front of each stately home in the avenue.

There the little birds and beautiful butterflies
Are soaring heavenwards almost to the skies,
And the busy bees are to be seen on the wing,
As from flower to flower they hummingly sing,

As they gather honey all the day,
From flowery gardens of Newport on the braes o' the Tay.
And as we view the gardens our hearts will feel gay
After being pent up in the workshop all the day.

Then there's a beautiful spot near an old mill,
Suitable for an artist to paint of great skill,
And the trees are arched o'erhead, lovely to be seen,
Which screens ye from the sunshine's glittering sheen.

Therefore, holiday makers, I'd have ye resort
To Newport on the braes o' the Tay for sport,
And inhale the pure air with its sweet perfume,
Emanating from the flowery gardens of Newport and the yellow broom.

And when bright Sol sinks in the West
You'll return home at night quite refreshed,
And dream in your beds of your rambles during the day
Along the bonnie 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…

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    "Beautiful Newport on the Braes o' the Silvery Tay" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41795/beautiful-newport-on-the-braes-o'-the-silvery-tay>.

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