Poetry, Perchance?

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(Sab Will) #1

For those of us with a poetic bent, here's a little place to share one or two couplets, rhyming or otherwise.



I thought I'd start off with what is widely regarded as the worst, or at least funniest, poem of all time, by, naturally, the worst poet of all time. A Scot, I'm proud to state, died in Edinburgh, the city of my birth in bonnie Scotland, and what a wondrous contribution he has indeed made to our fine art.



I'll hand you over to one of many eulogies to this thundering epic, this one from About.com. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...



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William Topaz McGonagall. The very name reeks of poetry, and poet he was. Born in 1830 in Dundee, where he is still remembered as “Dundee’s most famous nobody” (does so rhyme!), McGonagall died in 1902 in Edinburgh (where he is also claimed Native Son). His unparalleled awkward rhythms and dud rhymes were perfectly matched by his subject matter: spectacular train wrecks and the mountains of Greenland.



We invite you to partake in what we consider the absolute freefall of his bottomless barrel, best savored when read aloud with the audience joining in on the fateful chorus:


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The Tay Bridge Disaster
William Topaz McGonagall (1879)




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,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

’Twas about seven o’clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clods seem’d to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem’d to say --
“I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.”

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say --
“I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers’ hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov’d most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov’d slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o’er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill’d all the people’s hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav’d to tell the tale
How the disaster happen’d on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.



(Sab Will) #2

The guy is a genius Dedene, and genius should not be questioned; it Just Is. Let it be ;-S


(Dedene Nelson-Court) #3

Bravo!!! I’m giving him a standing ovation. But am I imagining or does his verses get longer as they go?