William Topaz McGonagall
William Topaz McGonagall was born of rather poor Irish parents in Edinburgh, Scotland, in March 1825. In his nearly unreadable, rambling biographical notes1, one eventually learns that he sprang from a family of five children and that he worked with his father as a handloom weaver. His education appears to have been patchy, but, in his own words, 'William has been like the immortal Shakespeare he had learned more from nature than he ever learned at school'. The family settled in Dundee while William was still a boy, and he lived there for the rest of his life. He died in 1902.
As a grown man, he continued to work in the family trade, and married one Jean King in 1846. At about ... more »
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William Topaz McGonagall Poems
A Descriptive Poem on the Silvery Tay
Beautiful silvery Tay, With your landscapes, so lovely and gay, Along each side of your waters, to Perth all the way; No other river in the world has got scenery more fine,
The Tay Bridge Disaster
Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay! Alas! I am very sorry to say That ninety lives have been taken away On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Fellow men! why should the lords try to despise And prohibit women from having the benefit of the parliamentary Franchise? When they pay the same taxes as you and me, I consider they ought to have the same liberty.
A Christmas Carol
Welcome, sweet Christmas, blest be the morn That Christ our Saviour was born! Earth's Redeemer, to save us from all danger, And, as the Holy Record tells, born in a manger.
An Address to Shakespeare
Immortal! William Shakespeare, there's none can you excel, You have drawn out your characters remarkably well, Which is delightful for to see enacted upon the stage For instance, the love-sick Romeo, or Othello, in a rage;
The Crucifixion of Christ
Composed, by Special Request, 18th June 1890 Then Pilate, the Roman Governor, took Jesus and scourged Him,
A New Temperance Poem, in Memory of My D...
My parents were sober living, and often did pray For their family to abstain from intoxicating drink alway; Because they knew it would lead them astray Which no God fearing man will dare to gainsay.
Adventures of King Robert the Bruce
King Robert the Bruce's deadly enemy, John of Lorn, Joined the English with eight hundred Highlanders one morn, All strong, hardy, and active fearless mountaineers, But Bruce's men attacked them with swords and spears.
A Tale of Christmas Eve
'Twas Christmastide in Germany, And in the year of 1850, And in the city of Berlin, which is most beautiful to the eye; A poor boy was heard calling out to passers-by.
The Hero of Rorke's Drift
Twas at the camp of Rorke's Drift, and at tea-time, And busily engaged in culinary operations was a private of the line; But suddenly he paused, for he heard a clattering din, When instantly two men on horseback drew rein beside him.
An All-Night Sea Fight
Ye sons of Mars, come list to me, And I will relate to ye A great and heroic naval fight, Which will fill your hearts with delight.
A Humble Heroine
'Twas at the Seige of Matagarda, during the Peninsular War, That a Mrs Reston for courage outshone any man there by far; She was the wife of a Scottish soldier in Matagarda Port, And to attend to her husband she there did resort.
A Soldier's Reprieve
'Twas in the United States of America some years ago An aged father sat at his fireside with his heart full of woe, And talking to his neighbour, Mr Allan, about his boy Bennie That was to be shot because found asleep doing sentinel duty.
An Excursion Steamer Sunk in the Tay
'Twas in the year of 1888, and on July the 14th day, That an alarming accident occurred in the River Tay. Which resulted in the sinking of the Tay Ferries' Steamer "Dundee," Which was a most painful and sickening sight to see.
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Edgar Allan Poe
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A Descriptive Poem on the Silvery Tay
Beautiful silvery Tay,
With your landscapes, so lovely and gay,
Along each side of your waters, to Perth all the way;
No other river in the world has got scenery more fine,
Only I am told the beautiful Rhine,
Near to Wormit Bay, it seems very fine,
Where the Railway Bridge is towering above its waters sublime,
And the beautiful ship Mars,
With her Juvenile Tare,
Both lively and gay,
Does carelessly lie By night and by day,
In the beautiful Bay
Of the silvery Tay.
Beautiful, beautiful silvery Tay,
Thy scenery is enchanting on a fine summer day,