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The Death of the Queen

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

Alas! our noble and generous Queen Victoria is dead,
And I hope her soul to Heaven has fled,
To sing and rejoice with saints above,
Where ah is joy, peace, and love.

'Twas on January 22, 1901, in the evening she died at 6.30 o'clock,
Which to the civilised world has been a great shock;
She was surrounded by her children and grandchildren dear,
And for the motherly, pious Queen they shed many a tear.

She has been a model and faithful Queen,
Very few like her have been;
She has acted virtuously during her long reign,
And I'm afraid the world will never see her like again.

And during her reign she was beloved by the high and the low,
And through her decease the people's hearts are full of woe,
Because she was kind to her subjects at home and abroad,
And now she's receiving her reward from the Eternal God.

And during her reign in this world of trouble and strife
Several attempts were made to take her life;
Maclean he tried to shoot her, but he did fail,
But he was arrested and sent to an aaylum, which made him bewail.

Victoria was a,noble Queen, the people must confess,
She was most charitable to them while in distress;
And in her disposition she wasn't proud nor vain,
And tears for her loss will fall as plentiful as rain.

The people around Balmoral will shed many tears
Owing to her visits amongst them for many years;
She was very kind to the old, infirm women there,
By giving them provisions and occasionally a prayer.

And while at Balmoral she found work for men unemployed,
Which made the hearts of the poor men feel overjoyed;
And for Her Majesty they would have laid down their lives,
Because sometimes she saved them from starving, and their wives.

Many happy days she spent at Balmoral,
Viewing the blooming heather and the bonnie Highland floral,
Along with Prince Albert, her husband dear,
But alas! when he died she shed many a tear.

She was very charitable, as everybody knows,
But the loss of her husband caused her many woes,
Because he cheered her at Balmoral as they the heather trod,
But I hope she has met him now at the Throne of God.

They ascended the Hill of Morven when she was in her fortieth year,
And Her Majesty was delighted as she viewed the Highland deer;
Also dark Lochnagar, which is most beautiful to see,
Not far from Balmoral and the dark River Dee.

I hope they are walking in Heaven together as they did in life
In the beautiful celestial regions, free from all strife,
Where God's family together continually meet,
Where the streets are paved with gold, and everything complete.

Alas! for the loss of Queen Victoria the people will mourn,
But she unto them can never return;
Therefore to mourn for her is all in vain,
Knowing that she can never return again.

Therefore, good people, one and all,
Let us be prepared for death when God does on us call,
Like the good and noble Queen Victoria of renown,
The greatest and most virtuous Queen that ever wore a crown.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:43 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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