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The Queen's Jubilee Celebrations

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

'Twas in the year of 1897, and on the 22nd of June,
Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee in London caused a great boom;
Because high and low came from afar to see,
The grand celebrations at Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee.

People were there from almost every foreign land,
Which made the scene really imposing and grand;
Especially the Queen's carriage, drawn by eight coloured bays,
And when the spectators saw it joyous shouts they did raise.

Oh! if was a most gorgeous sight to be seen,
Numerous foreign magnatss were there for to see the queen;
And to the vast multitude there of women and men,
Her Majesty for two hours showed herself to them.

The head of the procession looked very grand -
A party of the Horse Guards with their gold-belaced band;
Which also headed the procession of the Colonial States,
While slowly they rode on until opposite the Palace gates.

Then the sound of the National Anthem was heard quite clear,
And the sound the hearts of the mighty crowd it did cheer;
As they heard the loyal hymning on the morning air,
The scene was most beautiful and surpassing fair.

On the house tops thousands of people were to be seen,
All in eager expectation of seeing the queen;
And all of them seemed to be happy and gay,
Which enhanced the scene during the day.

And when Field Marshal Roberts in the procession passed by,
The cheers from thousands of people arose very high;
And to see him on his war horse was inspiring to see,
Because he rode his charger most splendidly.

The Natal mounted troops were loudly cheered, they looked so grand,
And also the London Irish Emerald Isle Band;
Oh if was a most magnificent sight to see.
The Malta Militia and Artillery,
And the Trinidad Artillery, and also bodies of infantry,
And, as the crowd gazed thereon, it filled their hearts with glee.

Her Majesty looked well considering her years,
And from the vast crowd burst forth joyous cheers;
And Her Majesty bowed to the shouts of acclamation,
And smiled upon the crowd with a loving look of admiration.

His Excellency Chan Yin Hun in his carriage wan a great attraction,
And his Oriental garb seemed to give the people great satisfaction;
While the two little Battenberg's carriage, as it drove along,
Received from the people cheering loud and long.

And when the Dragoon Guards and the Huasars filed past at the walk,
Then loudly in their praise the people did talk;
And the cavalry took forty minutes to trot past,
While the spectators in silent wonder stood aghast.

Her Majesty the Empress Frederick a great sensation made,
She was one of the chief attractions in the whole cavalcade;
And in her carriage was the Princess Louise, the Marchioness of Lorne,
In a beautiful white dress, which did per person adorn.

The scene in Piccadilly caused a great sensation,
The grand decorations there were the theme of admiration;
And the people in St. James Street were taken by surprise,
Because the lovely decorations dazzled their eyes

The 42nd Highlanders looked very fine,
When they appeared and took up a position on the line;
And the magnificent decorations in the Strand,
As far east as the Griffin wets attractive and grand.

And the grandstand from Buckingham Palace to Temple Bar,
Was crowded with eager eyes from afar,
Looking on the floral decorations and flags unfurled,
Which has been the grandest spectacle ever seen in the world.

The corner building of St. James Street side was lovely to view,
Ornamented with pink and white bunting and a screen of blue;
And to the eye, the inscription thereon most beautiful seems:
"Thou art alone the Queen of earthly Queens."

The welcome given to Commander-in-Chief Lord Wolseley was very flattering,
The people cheered him until the streets did ring;
And the foreign princes were watched with rivetted admiration,
And caused among the sight-seers great consternation,

And private householders seemed to vie with each other,
In the lavishness of their decorations, and considered it no bother;
And never before in the memory of man,
Has there been a national celebration so grand.

And in conclusion, I most earnestly do pray,
May God protect Her Majesty for many a day;
My blessing on her noble form and on her lofty head,
And may she wear a crown of glory 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 Queen's Jubilee Celebrations" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41930/the-queen's-jubilee-celebrations>.

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