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Loch Ness

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

Beautiful Loch Ness,
The truth to express,
Your landscapes are lovely and gay,
Along each side of your waters, to Fort Augustus all the way,
Your scenery is romantic...
With rocks and hills gigantic...
Enough to make one frantic,
As they view thy beautiful heathery hills,
And their clear crystal rills,
And the beautiful woodlands so green,
On a fine summer day...
From Inverneaa all the way...
Where the deer and the doe together doth play;
And the beautiful Falls of Foyers with its cystal spray,
As clear as the day,
Enchanting and gay,
To the traveller as he gazes thereon,
That he feels amazed with delight,
To see the water falling from such a height,
That his heed feels giddy with the scene,
As he views the Falls of Foyers and the woodlands so green,
That he exclaims in an ecstasy of delight -
Oh, beautiful Loch Ness!
I must sincerely confess,
That you are the most beautiful to behold,
With your lovely landscapes and water so cold.
And as he turns from the scene, he says with a sigh-
Oh, beautiful Loch Ness! I must bid you good-bye.

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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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    "Loch Ness" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 12 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41838/loch-ness>.

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