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Bonnie Callander

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

Chorus --

Bonnie Helen, will you go to Callander with me
And gaze upon its beauties and romantic scenery
Dear Helen, it will help to drive all sorrow away;
Therefore come, sweet Helen, and let's have a holiday.
Callander is a pretty little town most lovely to see,
Situated in the midst of mountains towering frowningly;
And Ben Ledi is the chief amongst them and famous in history,
Looking stern and rugged in all its majesty.

Chorus

And as for Bracklinn Falls, they are impressive to sight,
Especially the Keltie, which will the visitor's heart delight,
With its bonnie banks bordered with beautiful trees,
And the effect would be sure the spectator to please.

Chorus

The hawthorn hedges and the beautiful wild flowers
Will help to enliven the scene and while away the hours;
And as the spectator gazes upon Keltie waterfall,
The rumbling and fumbling of the water does his heart appall.

Chorus

As it makes one fearful plunge into a yawning abyss below,
Fifty or sixty feet beneath, where it splashes to and fro,
And seethes and boils in a great deep pool,
And the sweet, fragrant air around it is very cool.

Chorus

'Tis said two lovers met there with a tragic fate.
Alas! poor souls, and no one near to extricate.
The rail of the bridge upon which they were leaning gave way,
And they were drowned in the boiling gulf. Oh, horror and dismay!

Chorus

The Pass of Leny is most wild and amazing to see,
With its beetling crags and towering mountains and romantic scenery;
And the brawling Leny, with its little waterfalls,
Will repay the visitor for the time occupied any time he calls.

Chorus

Then lovers of the picturesque make haste and go away
To the pretty little village of Callander without delay,
And breathe the fresh air in the harvest time,
And revel amongst romantic scenery in the beautiful sunshine.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:36 min read
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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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    "Bonnie Callander" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 12 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41801/bonnie-callander>.

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