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The Heatherblend Club Banquet

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

'Twas on the 16th of October, in the year 1894,
I was invited to Inverness, not far from the sea shore,
To partake of a banquet prepared by the Heatherblend Club,
Gentlemen who honoured me without any hubbub.

The banquet was held in the Gellion Hotel,
And the landlord, Mr Macpherson, treated me right well;
Also the servant maids were very kind to me,
Especially the girl that polished my boots, most beautiful to see.

The banquet consisted of roast beef, potatoes, and red wine;
Also hare soup and sherry and grapes most fine,
And baked pudding and apples lovely to be seen;
Also rich sweet milk and delicious cream.

Mr Gossip, a noble Highlander, acted as chairman,
And when the banquet was finished the fun began;
And I was requested to give a poetic entertainment,
Which I gave, and which pleased them to their hearts' content.

And for my entertainment they did me well reward
By entitling me there the Heather Blend Club bard;
Likewise I received an Illuminated Address,
Also a purse of silver, I honestly confess.

Mr A.J.Stewart was very kind to me,
And tried all he could to make me happy;
And several songs were sung by gentlemen there--
It was the most social gathering I've been in, I do declare.

Oh, magnificent city of Inverness,
And your beautiful river, I must confess,
With its lovely scenery on each side,
Would be good for one's health there to reside.

There the blackbird and the mavis doth sing,
Making the woodlands with their echoes to ring
During the months of July, May, and June,
When the trees and the shrubberies are in full bloom.

And to see the River Ness rolling smoothly along,
Together with the blackbird's musical song,
While the sun shines bright in the month of May,
'Twill help to drive dull care away.

And Macbeth's Castle is grand to be seen,
Situated on Castle Hill, which is beautiful and green.
'Twas there Macbeth lived in days of old,
And a great tyrant he was, be it told.

I wish the Heatherblend members every success,
Hoping God will prosper them and bless;
Long May Dame Fortune smile upon them,
For all of them I've met are kind gentlemen.

And in conclusion, I must say
I never received better treatment in my day,
Than I received from my admirers in bonnie Inverness.
This on my soul and conscience I do confess.

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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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    "The Heatherblend Club Banquet" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41913/the-heatherblend-club-banquet>.

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