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Bonnie Kilmany

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

Bonnie Kilmany, in the County of Fife,
Is a healthy spot to reside in to lengthen one's life.
The scenery there in the summer time is truly grand,
Especially the beautiful hills and the woodland.

Chorus --

Then, bonnie Annie, will you go with me
And leave the crowded city of Dundee,
And breathe the pure, fragrant air
In the Howe of Kilmany, so lovely and fair?
And the little village in the Howe is lovely to see,
In the midst of green trees and shrubbery;
And the little rivulet, as it wimples along,
Can be heard singing aloud an aquatic song.

Chorus

And the old church there is built on a knoll,
And on the Sabbath mornings the church bell does toll,
Inviting the people to join in prayer,
While the echoes of the bell is heard in mid-air.

Chorus

Then there's a little schoolroom, surrounded by trees,
A favourite haunt for butterflies and busy bees,
And an old red-tiled smithy near by,
And the clink of the hammers can be heard sounding high.

Chorus

And thew's a wood sawmill by the roadway,
And the noise can be heard by night and day,
As the circular saw wheels round and round,
Making the village with its echoes resound.

Chorus

And in the harvest time on a fine summer morn
The Howe looks most beautiful when the corn is shorn;
And to hear the beautiful lark singing on high
Will make you exclaim, "Dull care, good-bye."

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:15 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 Kilmany" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41803/bonnie-kilmany>.

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