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The Bonnie Lass o' Dundee

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

O' a' the toons that I've been in,
I dearly love Dundee,
It's there the bonnie lassie lives,
The lass I love to see. Her face is fair, broon is her hair,
And dark blue is her e'e,
And aboon a' the lasses e'er I saw,
There's nane like her to me
The bonnie broon-hair'd lassie o' Bonnie Dundee.

I see her in my night dreams,
Wi' her bonnie blue e'e,
And her face it is the fairest,
That ever I did see;
And aboon a' the lassies e'er I eaw,
There's nane like her to me,
For she makes my heart feel lichtsome,
And I'm aye richt glad to see
The bonnie broon-hair'd lassie o' Bonnie Dundee.

Her eyes, they beam with innocence,
Most lovely for to see,
And her heart it is as free from guile,
As a child on its mother's knee;
And aboon a' the lasses e'er I saw,
There's nane like her to me,
For she aye seems so happy, And has a blythe bhnk in her e'e
The bonnie broon-hair'd lassie o' Bonnie Dundee.

The lassie is tidy in her claes,
Baith neat and clean to see;
And her body's sma and slender,
And a neat foot has she;
And aboon a' the lassies e'er I saw,
There's nane like her to me
The bonnie broon-hair'd lassie o' Bonnie Dundee.

She sings like the nightingale,
Richt merrily, or a wee lintie,
Wi' its heart fou' o' glee,
And she's as frisky as a bee;
And aboon a' the lassies e'er I saw,
There's nane like her to me
The bonnie broon-hair'd lassie o' Bonnie Dundee.

The lassie is as handsome
As the lily on the lea,
And her mou' it is as red
As a cherry on the tree;
And she's a' the world to me,
The bonnie broon-hair'd lassie
Wi' the bonnie blue e'e,
She's the joy o' my heart
And the flower o' Dundee.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:45 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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    "The Bonnie Lass o' Dundee" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41875/the-bonnie-lass-o'-dundee>.

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