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Broughty Ferry

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

Ancient Castle of Broughty Ferry
With walls as strong as Londonderry;
Near by the sea-shore,
Where oft is heard and has been heard the cannon's roar
In the present day and days of yore,
Loudly echoing from shore to shore.

From your impregnable ramparts high
Like the loud thunder in the sky
Enough to frighten a foreign foe away
That would dare to come up the river Tay,
To lay siege to Bonnie Dundee,
I'm sure your cannon-balls wouId make them flee--

Home again to their own land
Because your cannon shot they could not withstand,
They would soon be glad to get away
From the beautiful shores of the silvery Tay.

Ancient Castle, near by Tayside,
The soldiers ought to feel happy that in you reside,
Because from the top they can have a view of Fife,
Which ought to drown their sorrow and give them fresh life,
And make their spirits feel light and gay
As they view the beautiful scenery of the silvery Tay.

The village of Broughty Ferry is most beautiful to see,
With its stately mansions and productive fishery,
Which is a great boon to the villagers and the people of Dundee,
And ought to make them thankful, and unto God to pray
For creating plenty of fish for them in the beautiful Tay.

And the city of Dundee seems beautiful to the eye
With her mill stacks and Old Steeple so high,
Which can be seen on a clear summer day
From the top of Broughty Castle near the mouth of Tay.

Then there's beautiful Reres Hill,
Where the people can ramble at their will
Amongst its beautiful shrubberies and trees so green
Which in the summer season is most charming to be seen,
And ought to drive dull care away,
Because the people can see every clear day
From the top the ships sailing on the silvery Tay.

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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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    "Broughty Ferry" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41805/broughty-ferry>.

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