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Lord Robert's Triumphal Entry into Pretoria

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

'Twas in the year of 1900, and on the 5th of June,
Lord Roberts entered Pretoria in the afternoon;
His triumphal entry was magnificent to see,
The British Army marching behind him fearlessly.

With their beautiful banners unfurled to the breeze,
But the scene didn't the Boers please;
And they immediately made some show of fight,
But at the charge of the bayonet they were put to flight.

The troops, by the people, were received with loud cheers,
While many of them through joy shed joyous tears;
Because Lord Roberts from bondage had set them free,
Which made them dance and sing with glee.

Lord Roberts' march into Pretoria was inspiring to see,
It is reckoned one of the greatest achievements in our military history;
Because the Boers were watching him in front and behind,
But he scattered them like chaff before the wind.

Oh! it was a most beautiful and inspiring sight
To see the British bayonets glittering in the sunlight,
Whilst the bands played "See the conquering hero comes,"
While the people in ecstasy towards them run.

The British marched into Pretoria like the rushing tide,
And the Boers around Pretoria there no longer could abide,
Because the British at the charge of the bayonet made them run with fear,
And fly from Pretoria just like wild dear.

Then Lord Roberts cried, "Pull down the Transvaal Flag,
And hoist the Union Jack instead of the Transvaal rag;
And shout 'Britannia for ever,' and 'Long live our Queen,'
For she is the noblest Queen the world has ever seen."

Then the Union Jack was hoisted and unfurled to the breeze,
Which certainly did the Boers displease,
When they saw the Union Jack flying o'er their capital,
The sight thereof amazed them, and did them appall.

And when old Kruger saw Lord Roberts he shook with fright,
Then he immediately disguised himself and took to flight,
Leaving his poor wife in Pretoria behind,
But the British troops have treated her very kind.

Now let us all thank Lord Roberts for his great bravery,
Who has gained for the people of Pretoria their liberty,
By his skillful tactics and great generalship, be it told,
And the courage of his soldiers, who fought like lions bold.

Lord Roberts is a brave man, be it said,
Who never was the least afraid
To defend his Queen and country when called upon;
And by his valorous deeds great battles he has won.

Then success to Lord Roberts and the British Army,
May God protect them by land and by sea;
And enable them always to conquer the Boers,
And beat all foreign foes from our shores.

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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…

All William Topaz McGonagall poems | William Topaz McGonagall Books

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    "Lord Robert's Triumphal Entry into Pretoria" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41839/lord-robert's-triumphal-entry-into-pretoria>.

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