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The Inauguration of the University College

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

Good people of Dundee, your voices raise,
And to Miss Baxter give great praise;
Rejoice and sing and dance with glee,
Because she has founded a College in Bonnie Dundee.

Therefore loudly in her praise sing,
And make Dundee with your voices ring,
And give honour to whom honour is due,
Because ladies like her are very few.

'Twas on the 5th day of October, in the year of 1883,
That the University College was opened in Dundee,
And the opening proceedings were conducted in the College Hall,
In the presence of ladies and gentlemen both great and small.

Worthy Provost Moncur presided over the meeting,
And received very great greeting;
And Professor Stuart made an eloquent speech there,
And also Lord Dalhousie, I do declare.

Also, the Right Hon W. E. Baxter was there on behalf of his aunt,
And acknowledged her beautiful portrait without any rant,
And said that she requested him to hand it over to the College,
As an incentive to others to teach the ignorant masses knowledge,

Success to Miss Baxter, and praise to the late Doctor Baxter, John Boyd,
For I think the Dundonians ought to feel overjoyed
For their munificent gifts to the town of Dundee,
Which will cause their names to be handed down to posterity.

The College is most handsome and magnificent to be seen,
And Dundee can now almost cope with Edinburgh or Aberdeen,
For the ladies of Dundee can now learn useful knowledge
By going to their own beautiful College.

I hope the ladies and gentlemen of Dundee will try and learn knowledge
At home in Dundee in their nice little College,
Because knowledge is sweeter than honey or jam,
Therefore let them try and gain knowledge as quick as they can.

It certainly is a great boon and an honour to Dundee
To have a College in our midst, which is most charming to see,
All through Miss Baxter and the late Dr Baxter, John Boyd,
Which I hope by the people of Dundee will long be enjoyed

Now since Miss Baxter has lived to see it erected,
I hope by the students she will long be respected
For establishing a College in Bonnie Dundee,
Where learning can be got of a very high degree.

"My son, get knowledge," so said the sage,
For it will benefit you in your old age,
And help you through this busy world to pass,
For remember a man without knowledge is just like an ass.

I wish the Professors and teachers every success,
Hoping the Lord will all their labours bless;
And I hope the students will always be obedient to their teachers
And that many of them may leam to be orators and preachers.

I hope Miss Baxter will prosper for many a long day
For the money that she has given away,
May God shower his blessings on her wise head,
And may all good angels guard her while living and hereafter when dead.

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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 Inauguration of the University College" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41918/the-inauguration-of-the-university-college>.

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