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The Village of Tayport and Its Surroundings

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

All ye pleasure-seekers, where'er ye be,
I pray ye all be advised by me,
Go and visit Tayport on the banks o' the Tay,
And there ye can spend a pleasant holiday.

The village and its surroundings are magnificent to be seen,
And the shops on the High Street are tidy and clean,
And the goods, I'm sure, would please the Queen,
They cannot be surpassed in Edinburgh or Aberdeen.

And the villagers' gardens are lovely to be seen,
There sweet flowers grow and gooseberries green.
And the fragrant air will make you feel gay
While viewing the scenery there on the banks of the Tay.

Scotscraig is an ancient and a most charming spot,
And once seen by visitors will never be forgot.
'Twas there that Archbishop Sharp lived long ago,
And the flower-garden there is a very grand show.

The flower beds there are very beautiful to see,
They surpass the Baxter Park flower beds in Dundee,
And are all enclosed in a round ring,
And there the bee and the butterfly are often on the wing.

Scotscraig farm-house is magnificent to see
With its beautiful rich fields of wheat and barley,
And the farm-house steading is certainly very fine,
And the scenery is charming in the summer time.

The Serpentine Walk is a secluded spot in Scotscraig wood,
And to be walking there 'twould do one's heart good.
There the lovers can enjoy themselves in its shady bowers
By telling tales of love to wile away the tedious hours.

There innocent rabbits do sport and play
During the livelong summer day
Amongst the ivy and shrubberies green,
And screened all day from the sun's sheen.

Then, lovers of the picturesque, off and away
To the village of Tayport on the banks o' the Tay,
And ramble through Scotscraig wood,
It will, I'm sure, do your bodies good.

And, as ye walk along the Serpentine Walk,
With each other ye can have a social talk,
And ye will hear the birds singing away,
Which will make your hearts feel light and gay.

And while walking underneath the branches of the trees,
Ye will hear the humming of the bees.
Therefore, pleasure-seekers, make no delay,
But visit Scotscraig wood on a fine summer day.

There visitors can be shaded from the sun in the summer time,
While walking along the secluded Serpentine,
By the spreading branches of the big trees,
Or from the undergrowth ivy, if they please.

Do not forget to visit the old Tower,
Where Archbishop Sharp spent many an hour,
Viewing the beautiful scenery for miles away
Along the bonnie banks o' the silvery Tay.

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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 Village of Tayport and Its Surroundings" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41946/the-village-of-tayport-and-its-surroundings>.

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