William Topaz McGonagall |
There lived in Munich a poor, weakly youth,
But for the exact date, I cannot vouch for the truth,
And of seven of a family he was the elder,
Who was named, by his parents, Alois Senefelder.
But, poor fellow, at home his father was lying dead,
And his little brothers and sisters were depending upon him for bread,
And one evening he was dismissed from his employment,
Which put an end to all his peace and enjoyment.
The poor lad was almost mad, and the next day
His parent's remains to the cemetery were taken away;
And when his father was buried, distracted like he grew,
And he strolled through the streets crying, What shall I do!
And all night he wandered on sad and alone,
Until he began to think of returning home,
But, to his surprise, on raising his head to look around,
He was in a part of the country which to him was unknown ground.
And when night came on the poor lad stood aghast,
For all was hushed save the murmuring of a river which flowed past;
And the loneliness around seemed to fill his heart with awe,
And, with fatigue, he sat down on the first stone he saw.
And there resting his elbows and head on his knees,
He sat gazing at the running water, which did him please;
And by the light of the stars which shone on the water blue,
He cried, I will drown myself, and bid this harsh world adieu.
Besides, I'm good for nothing, to himself he said,
And will only become a burden to my mother, I'm afraid
And there, at the bottom of that water, said he,
From all my misfortunes death will set me free.
But, happily for Alois, more pious thoughts rushed into his mind,
And courage enough to drown himself he couldn't find,
So he resolved to go home again whatever did betide,
And he asked forgiveness of his Creator by the river side.
And as he knelt, a few incoherent words escaped him,
And the thought of drowning himself he considered a great sin,
And the more he thought of it, he felt his flesh creep,
But in a few minutes he fell fast asleep.
And he slept soundly, for the stillness wasn't broke,
And the day was beginning to dawn before he awoke;
Then suddenly he started up as if in a fright,
And he saw very near him a little stone smooth and white,
Upon which was traced the delicate design of a Sprig of Moss
But to understand such a design he was at a loss,
Then he recollected the Sprig of Moss lying on the stone,
And with his tears he'd moistened it, but it was gone.
But its imprint was delicately imprinted on the stone;
Then, taking the stone under his arm, he resolved to go home,
Saying, God has reserved me for some other thing,
And with joy he couldn't tell how he began to sing.
And on drawing near the city he met his little brother,
Who told him his uncle had visited his mother,
And on beholding their misery had left them money to buy food,
Then Alois cried, Thank God, the news is good!
Then 'twas on the first day after Alois came home,
He began the printing of the Sprig of Moss on the stone;
And by taking the impressions of watch-cases he discovered, one day,
What is now called the art of Lithography.
So Alois plodded on making known his great discovery,
Until he obtained the notice of the Royal Academy,
Besides, he obtained a gold Medal, and what was more dear to his heart,
He lived to see the wide extension of his art.
And when life's prospects may at times appear dreary to ye,
Remember Alois Senefelder, the discoverer of Lithography,
How God saved him from drowning himself in adversity,
And I hope ye all will learn what the Sprig of Moss teaches ye.
And God that made a way through the Red Sea,
If ye only put your trust in Him, He will protect ye,
And light up your path, and strew it with flowers,
And be your own Comforter in all your lonely hours.
William Topaz McGonagall |
'Twas in the year of 1869, and on the 19th of November,
Which the people in Southern Germany will long remember,
The great rain-storm which for twenty hours did pour down,
That the rivers were overflowed and petty streams all around.
The rain fell in such torrents as had never been seen before,
That it seemed like a second deluge, the mighty torrents' roar,
At nine o'clock at night the storm did rage and moan
When Carl Springel set out on his crutches all alone --
From the handsome little hut in which he dwelt,
With some food to his father, for whom he greatly felt,
Who was watching at the railway bridge,
Which was built upon a perpendicular rocky ridge.
The bridge was composed of iron and wooden blocks,
And crossed o'er the Devil's Gulch, an immense cleft of rocks,
Two hundred feet wide and one hundred and fifty feet deep,
And enough to make one's flesh to creep.
Far beneath the bridge a mountain-stream did boil and rumble,
And on that night did madly toss and tumble;
Oh! it must have been an awful sight
To see the great cataract falling from such a height.
It was the duty of Carl's father to watch the bridge on stormy nights,
And warn the on-coming trains of danger with the red lights;
So, on this stormy night, the boy Carl hobbled along
Slowly and fearlessly upon his crutches, because he wasn't strong.
He struggled on manfully with all his might
Through the fearful darkness of the night,
And half-blinded by the heavy rain,
But still resolved the bridge to gain.
But when within one hundred yards of the bridge, it gave way with an awful crash,
And fell into the roaring flood below, and made a fearful splash,
Which rose high above the din of the storm,
The like brave Carl never heard since he was born.
Then; 'Father! father!' cried Carl in his loudest tone,
'Father! father!' he shouted again in very pitiful moans;
But no answering voice did reply,
Which caused him to heave a deep-fetched sigh.
And now to brave Carl the truth was clear
That he had lost his father dear,
And he cried, 'My poor father's lost, and cannot be found,
He's gone down with the bridge, and has been drowned.
But he resolves to save the on-coming train,
So every nerve and muscle he does strain,
And he trudges along dauntlessly on his crutches,
And tenaciously to them he clutches.
And just in time he reaches his father's car
To save the on-coming train from afar,
So he seizes the red light, and swings it round,
And cried with all his might, 'The bridge is down! The bridge is down!'
So forward his father's car he drives,
Determined to save the passengers' lives,
Struggling hard with might and main,
Hoping his struggle won't prove in vain.
So on comes the iron-horse snorting and rumbling,
And the mountain-torrent at the bridge kept roaring and tumbling;
While brave Carl keeps shouting, 'The bridge is down! The bridge is down!'
He cried with a pitiful wail and sound.
But, thank heaven, the engine-driver sees the red light
That Carl keeps swinging round his head with all his might;
But bang! bang! goes the engine with a terrible crash,
And the car is dashed all to smash.
But the breaking of the car stops the train,
And poor Carl's struggle is not in vain;
But, poor soul, he was found stark dead,
Crushed and mangled from foot to head!
And the passengers were all loud in Carl's praise,
And from the cold wet ground they did him raise,
And tears for brave Carl fell silently around,
Because he had saved two hundred passengers from being drowned.
In a quiet village cemetery he now sleeps among the silent dead,
In the south of Germany, with a tombstone at his head,
Erected by the passengers he saved in the train,
And which to his memory will long remain.
William Topaz McGonagall |
A pathetic tale of the sea I will unfold,
Enough to make one's blood run cold;
Concerning four fishermen cast adrift in a dory.
As I've been told I'll relate the story.
T'was on the 8th April on the afternoon of that day
That the village of Louisburg was thrown into a wild state or dismay,
And the villagers flew to the beach in a state of wild uproar
And in a dory they found four men were cast ashore.
Then the villagers, in surprise assembled about the dory,
And they found that the bottom of the boat was gory;
Then their hearts were seized with sudden dread,
when they discovered that two of the men were dead.
And the two survivors were exhausted from exposure, hunger, and cold,
Which used the spectators to shudder when them they did behold;
And with hunger the poor men couldn't stand on their feet,
They felt so weakly on their legs for want of meat.
They were carried to a boarding-house without delay,
But those that were looking on were stricken with dismay,
When the remains of James and Angus McDonald were found in the boat,
Likewise three pieces or flesh in a pool or blood afloat.
Angus McDonald's right arm was missing from the elbow,
and the throat was cut in a sickening manner which filled the villagers hearts with woe,
Especially when they saw two pieces of flesh had been cut from each thigh,
'Twas then the kind-hearted villagers did murmur and sigh.
Angus McDonald must have felt the pangs of hunger before he did try
to cut two pieces of fiesh from James McDonald's thigh,
But, Oh heaven! the pangs of hunger are very hard to thole,
And anything that's eatable is precious unto an hungry soul.
Alas it is most pitiful and horrible to think
That with hunger christians will each other's blood drink
And eat each other's flesh to save themselves from starvation;
But the pangs or hunger makes them mad, and drives them to desperation.
An old American soldier that had passed through the Civil War,
Declared the scene surpassed anything he's seen by far,
And at the sight, the crowd in horror turned away,
which no doubt they will remember for many a day.
Colin Chisholm, one of the survivors was looking very pale,
Stretched on a sofa at the boarding-house, making his wail:
Poor fellow! his feet was greatly swollen, and with a melancholy air,
He gave the following account of the distressing affair:
We belonged to the American fishing schooner named "Cicely",
And our captain was a brave man, called McKenzie;
And the vessel had fourteen hands altogether
And during the passage we had favourable weather.
'Twas on March the 17th we sailed from Gloucester on the Wednesday
And all our hearts felt buoyant and gay;
And we arrived on the Western banks on the succeeding Tuesday,
While the time unto us seemed to pass merrily away.
About eight O'clock in the morning, we left the vessel in a dory,
And I hope all kind christians will take heed to my story;
Well, while we were at our work, the sky began to frown,
And with a dense fog we were suddenly shut down
Then we hunted and shouted, and every nerve did strain,
Thinking to find our schooner but, alas! it was all in vain:
Because the thick fog hid the vessel from our view,
And to keep ourselves warm we closely to each other drew.
We had not one drop of water , nor provisions of any kind,
Which, alas soon began to tell on our mind;
Especially upon James McDonald who was very thinly clad,
And with the cold and hunger he felt almost mad.
And looking from the stern where he was lying,
he said Good bye, mates, Oh! I am dying!
Poor fellow we kept his body thinking the rest of us would be saved,
Then, with hunger, Angus McDonald began to cry and madly raved.
And he cried, Oh, God! send us some kind of meat,
Because I'm resolved to have something to eat;
Oh! do not let us starve on the briny flood
Or else I will drink of poor Jim's blood.
Then he suddenly seized his knife and cut off poor Jim's arm,
Not thinking in his madness he'd done any harm;
Then poor Jim's blood he did drink and his flesh did eat,
Declaring that the blood tasted like cream, and was a treat.
Then he asked me to taste it, saying It was good without doubt,
Then I tasted it, but in disgust I instantly spat it out;
Saying, if I was to die within an hour on the briny flood,
I would neither eat the flesh nor drink the blood.
Then in the afternoon again he turned to me,
Saying, I'm going to cut Jim's throat for more blood d'ye see;
Then I begged of him, for God's sake not to cut the throat of poor Jim,
But he cried, Ha! ha! to save my own life I consider it no sin.
I tried to prevent him but he struck me without dismay
And cut poor Jim's throat in defiance of me, or all I could say,
Also a piece of flesh from each thigh, and began to eat away,
But poor fellow he sickened about noon, and died on the Sunday.
Now it is all over and I will thank all my life,
Who has preserved me and my mate, McEachern, in the midst of danger and strife;
And I hope that all landsmen of low and high degree,
Will think of the hardships of poor mariners while at sea.
William Topaz McGonagall |
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.
Then ring, ring, Christmas bells,
Till your sweet music o'er the kingdom swells,
To warn the people to respect the morn
That Christ their Saviour was born.
The snow was on the ground when Christ was born,
And the Virgin Mary His mother felt very forlorn
As she lay in a horse's stall at a roadside inn,
Till Christ our Saviour was born to free us from sin.
Oh! think of the Virgin Mary as she lay
In a lowly stable on a bed of hay,
And angels watching O'er her till Christ was born,
Therefore all the people should respect Christmas morn.
The way to respect Christmas time
Is not by drinking whisky or wine,
But to sing praises to God on Christmas morn,
The time that Jesus Christ His Son was born;
Whom He sent into the world to save sinners from hell
And by believing in Him in heaven we'll dwell;
Then blest be the morn that Christ was born,
Who can save us from hell, death, and scorn.
Then he warned, and respect the Saviour dear,
And treat with less respect the New Year,
And respect always the blessed morn
That Christ our Saviour was born.
For each new morn to the Christian is dear,
As well as the morn of the New Year,
And he thanks God for the light of each new morn.
Especially the morn that Christ was born.
Therefore, good people, be warned in time,
And on Christmas morn don't get drunk with wine
But praise God above on Christmas morn,
Who sent His Son to save us from hell and scorn.
There the heavenly babe He lay
In a stall among a lot of hay,
While the Angel Host by Bethlehem
Sang a beautiful and heavenly anthem.
Christmas time ought to be held most dear,
Much more so than the New Year,
Because that's the time that Christ was born,
Therefore respect Christmas morn.
And let the rich be kind to the poor,
And think of the hardships they do endure,
Who are neither clothed nor fed,
And Many without a blanket to their bed.
William Topaz McGonagall |
Alas! the people now do sigh and moan
For the loss of Wm.
Who was a very great politician and a moral man,
And to gainsay it there's few people can.
'Twas in the year of 1898, and on the 19th of May,
When his soul took its flight for ever and aye,
And his body was interred in Westminster Abbey;
But I hope his soul has gone to that Heavenly shore,
Where all trials and troubles cease for evermore.
He was a man of great intellect and genius bright,
And ever faithful to his Queen by day and by night,
And always foremost in a political fight;
And for his services to mankind, God will him requite.
The funeral procession was affecting to see,
Thousands of people were assembled there, of every degree;
And it was almost eleven o'clock when the procession left Westminster Hall,
And the friends of the deceased were present- physicians and all.
A large force of police was also present there,
And in the faces of the spectators there was a pitiful air,
Yet they were orderly in every way,
And newspaper boys were selling publications without delay.
Present in the procession was Lord Playfair,
And Bailie Walcot was also there,
Also Mr Macpherson of Edinboro-
And all seemingly to be in profound sorrow.
The supporters of the coffin were the Earl Rosebery,
And the Right Honourable Earl of Kimberley,
And the Right Honourable Sir W.
Vernon he was there,
And His Royal Highness the Duke of York, I do declare.
George Armitstead, Esq.
, was there also,
And Lord Rendal, with his heart full of woe;
And the Right Honourable Duke of Rutland,
And the Right Honourable Arthur J.
Balfour, on the right hand;
Likewise the noble Marquis of Salisbury,
And His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, of high degree.
And immediately behind the coffin was Lord Pembroke,
The representative of Her Majesty, and the Duke of Norfolk,
Carrying aloft a beautiful short wand,
The insignia of his high, courtly office, which looked very grand.
And when the procession arrived at the grave,
Mrs Gladstone was there,
And in her countenance was depicted a very grave air;
And the dear, good lady seemed to sigh and moan
For her departed, loving husband, Wm.
And on the opposite side of her stood Lord Pembroke,
And Lord Salisbury, who wore a skull cap and cloak;
Also the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Rutland,
And Mr Balfour and Lord Spencer, all looking very bland.
And the clergy were gathered about the head of the grave,
And the attention of the spectators the Dean did crave;
Then he said, "Man that is born of woman hath a short time to live,
But, Oh, Heavenly Father! do thou our sins forgive.
Then Mrs Gladstone and her two sons knelt down by the grave,
Then the Dean did the Lord's blessing crave,
While Mrs Gladstone and her some knelt,
While the spectators for them great pity felt.
The scene was very touching and profound,
To see all the mourners bending their heads to the ground,
And, after a minute's most silent prayer,
The leave-taking at the grave was affecting, I do declare.
Then Mrs Gladstone called on little Dorothy Drew,
And immediately the little girl to her grandmamma flew,
And they both left the grave with their heads bowed down,
While tears from their relatives fell to the ground.
Ewart Gladstone! I must conclude my muse,
And to write in praise of thee my pen does not refuse-
To tell the world, fearlessly, without the least dismay,
You were the greatest politician in your day.
William Topaz McGonagall |
Edward Teach was a native of Bristol, and sailed from that port
On board a privateer, in search of sport,
As one of the crew, during the French War in that station,
And for personal courage he soon gained his Captain's approbation.
'Twas in the spring of 1717, Captajn Harnigold and Teach sailed from Providence
For the continent of America, and no further hence;
And in their way captured a vessel laden with flour,
Which they put on board their own vessels in the space of an hour.
They also seized two other vessels snd took some gallons of wine,
Besides plunder to a considerable value, and most of it most costly design;
And after that they made a prize of a large French Guinea-man,
Then to act an independent part Teach now began.
But the news spread throughout America, far and near,
And filled many of the inhabitants' hearts with fear;
But Lieutenant Maynard with his sloops of war directly steered,
And left James River on the 17th November in quest of Black Beard,
And on the evening of the 21st came in sight of the pirate;
And when Black Beard spied his sloops he felt elate.
When he saw the sloops sent to apprehend him,
He didn't lose his courage, but fiendishly did grin;
And told his men to cease from drinking and their tittle-tattle,
Although he had only twenty men on board, and prepare for battle.
In case anything should happen to him during the engagement,
One of his men asked him, who felt rather discontent,
Whether his wife knew where he had buried his pelf,
When he impiously replied that nobody knew but the devil and himself.
In the Morning Maynard weighed and sent his boat to sound,
Which, coming near the pirate, unfortunately ran aground;
But Maynard lightened his vessel of the ballast and water,
Whilst from the pirates' ship small shot loudly did clatter.
But the pirates' small shot or slugs didn't Maynard appal,
He told his men to take their cutlasses and be ready upon his call;
And to conceal themselves every man below,
While he would remain at the helm and face the foe.
Then Black Beard cried, "They're all knocked on the head,"
When he saw no hand upon deck he thought they were dead;
Then Black Beard boarded Maynard'a sloop without dismay,
But Maynard's men rushed upon deck, then began the deadly fray.
Then Black Beard and Maynard engaged sword in hand,
And the pirate fought manfully and made a bold stand;
And Maynard with twelve men, and Black Beard with fourteen,
Made the most desperate and bloody conflict that ever was seen.
At last with shots and wounds the pirate fell down dead,
Then from his body Maynard severed the pirate's head,
And suspended it upon his bowsprit-end,
And thanked God Who so mercifully did him defend.
Black Beard derived his name from his long black beard,
Which terrified America more than any comet that had ever appeared;
But, thanks be to God, in this age we need not be afeared,
Of any such pirates as the inhuman Black Beard.
William Topaz McGonagall |
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.
And I consider if they are not allowed the same liberty,
From taxation every one of them should be set free;
And if they are not, it is really very unfair,
And an act of injustice I most solemnly declare.
Women, farmers, have no protection as the law now stands;
And many of them have lost their property and lands,
And have been turned out of their beautiful farms
By the unjust laws of the land and the sheriffs' alarms.
And in my opinion, such treatment is very cruel;
And fair play, 'tis said, is a precious jewel;
But such treatment causes women to fret and to dote,
Because they are deprived of the parliamentary Franchise vote.
In my opinion, what a man pays for he certainly should get;
And if he does not, he will certainly fret;
And why wouldn't women do the very same?
Therefore, to demand the parliamentary Franchise they are not to blame.
Therefore let them gather, and demand the parliamentary Franchise;
And I'm sure no reasonable man will their actions despise,
For trying to obtain the privileges most unjustly withheld from them;
Gladstone will certainly encourage and never condemn.
And as for the working women, many are driven to the point of starvation,
All through the tendency of the legislation;
Besides, upon members of parliament they have no claim
As a deputation, which is a very great shame.
Yes, the Home Secretary of the present day,
Against working women's deputations, has always said- nay;
Because they haven't got the parliamentary Franchise-,
That is the reason why he does them despise.
And that, in my opinion, is really very unjust;
But the time is not far distant, I most earnestly trust,
When women will have a parliamentary vote,
And many of them, I hope, will wear a better petticoat.
And I hope that God will aid them in this enterprise,
And enable them to obtain the parliamentary Franchise;
And rally together, and make a bold stand,
And demand the parliamentary Franchise throughout Scotland.
And do not rest day nor night-
Because your demands are only right
In the eyes of reasonable men, and God's eyesight;
And Heaven, I'm sure, will defend the right.
Therefore go on brave women! and never fear,
Although your case may seem dark and drear,
And put your trust in God, for He is strong;
And ye will gain the parliamentary Franchise before very long.
William Topaz McGonagall |
'Twas on the 18th of August in the year of 1798,
That Nelson saw with inexpressible delight
The City of Alexandria crowded with the ships of France,
So he ordered all sail to be set, and immediately advance.
And upon the deck, in deep anxiety he stood,
And from anxiety of mind he took but little food;
But now he ordered dinner and prepared without delay,
Saying, I shall gain a peerage to-morrow, or Westminster Abbey.
The French had found it impossible to enter the port of Alexandria,
Therefore they were compelled to withdraw;
Yet their hearts were burning with anxiety the war to begin,
But they couldn't find a pilot who would convey them safely in.
Therefore Admiral Brueyes was forced to anchor in Aboukir Bay,
And in a compact line of battle, the leading vessel lay
Close to a shoal, along a line of very deep water,
There they lay, all eager to begin the murderous slaughter.
The French force consisted of thirteen ships of the line,
As fine as ever sailed on the salt sea brine;
Besides four Frigates carrying 1,196 guns in all,
Also 11,230 men as good as ever fired a cannon ball.
The number of the English ships were thirteen in all,
And carrying 1012 guns, including great and small;
And the number of men were 8,068,
All jolly British tars and eager for to fight.
As soon as Nelson perceived the position of the enemy,
His active mind soon formed a plan immediately;
As the plan he thought best, as far as he could see,
Was to anchor his ships on the quarter of each of the enemy.
And when he had explained hid mode of attack to his officers and men,
He said, form as convenient, and anchor at the stern;
The first gain the victory, and make the best use of it you can,
Therefore I hope every one here to-day, will do their duty to a man.
When Captain Berry perceived the boldness of the plan,
He said, my Lord, I'm sure the men will do their duty to a man;
And, my Lord, what will the world say, if we gain the victory?
Then Nelson replied, there's no if in the case, and that you'll see.
Then the British tars went to work without delay,
All hurrying to and fro, making ready for the fray;
And there wasn't a man among them, but was confident that day,
That they would make the French to fly from Aboukir Bay.
Nelson's fleet did not enter Aboukir Bay at once,
And by adopting that plan, that was his only chance;
But one after another, they bore down on the enemy;
Then Nelson cried, now open fire my heroes, immediately!
Then the shores of Egypt trembled with the din of the war,
While sheets of flame rent the thick clouds afar;
And the contending fleets hung incumbent o'er the bay,
Whilst our British tars stuck to their guns without the least dismay.
And loudly roared the earthly thunder along thr river Nile,
And the British ship Orion went into action in splendid style;
Also Nelson's Ship Vanguard bore down on the foe,
With six flags flying from her rigging high and low.
Then she opened a tremendous fire on the Spartiate,
And Nelson cried, fear not my lads we'll soon make them retreat!
But so terrific was the fire of the enemy on them,
That six of the Vanguards guns were cleared of men.
Yet there stood Nelson, the noble Hero of the Nile,
In the midst of death and destruction on deck all the while;
And around him on every side, the cannon balls did rattle,
But right well the noble hero knew the issue of the battle.
But suddenly he received a wound on the head,
And fell into the arms of Captain Berry, but fortunately not dead;
And the flow of blood from his head was very great,
But still the hero of the Nile was resigned to his fate.
Then to the Cockpit the great Admiral was carried down,
And in the midst of the dying, he never once did frown;
Nor he didn't shake with fear, nor yet did he mourne,
But patiently sat down to wait his own turn.
And when the Surgeon saw him, he instantly ran,
But Nelson said, Surgeon, attend to that man;
Attend to the sailor you were at, for he requires your aid,
Then I will take my turn, don't be the least afraid.
And when his turn came, it was found that his wound was but slight,
And when known, it filled the sailors hearts with delight;
And they all hoped he would soon be able to command in the fight,
When suddenly a cry arose of fire! Which startled Nelson with affright.
And unassisted he rushed upon the deck, and to his amaze,
He discovered that the Orient was all in a blaze;
Then he ordered the men to lower the boats, and relieve the enemy,
Saying, now men, see and obey my orders immediately.
Then the noble tars manned their boats, and steered to the Orient,
While the poor creatures thanked God for the succour He had sent;
And the burning fragments fell around them like rain,
Still our British tars rescued about seventy of them from the burning flame,
And of the thirteen sail of the French the British captured nine,
Besides four of their ships were burnt, which made the scene sublime,
Which made the hero of the Nile cry out thank God we've won the day,
And defeated the French most manfully in Aboukir Bay.
Then the victory was complete and the French Fleet annihilated,
And when the news arrived in England the peoples' hearts felt elated,
Then Nelson sent orders immediately through the fleet,
That thanksgiving should be returned to God for the victory complete.
William Topaz McGonagall |
Friends of humanity, of high and low degree,
I pray ye all come listen to me;
And truly I will relate to ye,
The tragic fate of the Rev.
Alexander Heriot Mackonochie.
Who was on a visit to the Bishop of Argyle,
For the good of his health, for a short while;
Because for the last three years his memory had been affected,
Which prevented him from getting his thoughts collected.
'Twas on Thursday, the 15th of December, in the year of 1887,
He left the Bishop's house to go and see Loch Leven;
And he was accompanied by a little skye terrier and a deerhound,
Besides the Bishop's two dogs, that knew well the ground.
And as he had taken the same walk the day before,
The Bishop's mind was undisturbed and easy on that score;
Besides the Bishop had been told by some men,
That they saw him making his way up a glen.
From which a river flows down with a mighty roar,
From the great mountains of the Mamore;
And this route led him towards trackless wastes eastward,
And no doubt to save his life he had struggled very hard.
And as Mr Mackonochie had not returned at dinner time,
The Bishop ordered two men to search for him, which they didn't decline;
Then they searched for him along the road he should have returned,
But when they found him not, they sadly mourned.
And when the Bishop heard it, he procured a carriage and pair,
While his heart was full of woe, and in a state of despair;
He organised three search parties without delay,
And headed one of the parties in person without dismay.
And each party searched in a different way,
But to their regret at the end of the day;
Most unfortunately no discovery had been made,
Then they lost hope of finding him, and began to be afraid.
And as a last hope, two night searches were planned,
And each party with well lighted lamps in hand
Started on their perilous mission, Mr Mackonochie to try and find,
In the midst of driving hail, and the howling wind.
One party searched a distant sporting lodge with right good will,
Besides through brier, and bush, and snow, on the hill;
And the Bishop's party explored the Devil's Staircase with hearts full of woe,
A steep pass between the Kinloch hills, and the hills of Glencoe.
Oh! it was a pitch dark and tempestuous night,
And the searchers would have lost their way without lamp light;
But the brave searchers stumbled along for hours, but slow,
Over rocks, and ice, and sometimes through deep snow.
And as the Bishop's party were searching they met a third party from Glencoe side,
Who had searched bracken and burn, and the country wide;
And sorrow was depicted in each one's face,
Because of the Rev.
Mr Mackonochie they could get no trace.
But on Saturday morning the Bishop set off again,
Hoping that the last search wouldn't prove in vain;
Accompanied with a crowd of men and dogs,
All resolved to search the forest and the bogs.
And the party searched with might and main,
Until they began to think their search would prove in vain;
When the Bishop's faithful dogs raised a pitiful cry,
Which was heard by the searchers near by.
Then the party pressed on right manfully,
And sure enough there were the dogs guarding the body of Mackonochie;
And the corpse was cold and stiff, having been long dead,
Alas! almost frozen, and a wreath of snow around the head.
And as the searchers gathered round the body in pity they did stare,
Because his right foot was stained with blood, and bare;
But when the Bishop o'er the corpse had offered up a prayer,
He ordered his party to'carry the corpse to his house on a bier.
So a bier of sticks was most willingly and quickly made,
Then the body was most tenderly upon it laid;
And they bore the corpse and laid inside the Bishop's private chapel,
Then the party took one sorrowful look and bade the corpse, farewell.
William Topaz McGonagall |
Composed, by Special Request, 18th June 1890
Then Pilate, the Roman Governor, took Jesus and scourged Him,
And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and thought it no sin
To put it on His head, while meekly Jesus stands;
They put on Him a purple robe, and smote Him with their hands.
Then Pilate went forth again, and said unto them,
Behold, I bring Him forth to you, but I cannot Him condemn,
And I would have you to remember I find no fault in Him,
And to treat Him too harshly 'twould be a sin.
But the rabble cried.
Hail, King of the Jews, and crucify Him;
But Pilate saith unto them, I find in Him no sin;
Then Jesus came forth, looking dejected and wan,
And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the Man.
Then the Jews cried out, By our laws He ought to die,
Because He made Himself the Son of God the Most High;
And when Pilate heard that saying the Jews had made,
He saw they were dissatisfied, and he was the more afraid.
And to release Jesus Pilate did really intend,
But the Jews cried angrily, Pilate, thou art not Caesar's friend,
Remember, if thou let this vile impostor go,
It only goes to prove thou art Caesar's foe.
When Pilate heard that he felt very irate,
Then he brought Josus forth, and sat down in the judgment-seat,
In a place that is called the Pavement,
While the Blessed Saviour stood calm and content.
The presence of His enemies did not Him appal,
When Pilate asked of Him, before them all,
Whence art Thou, dost say from on High?
But Jesus, the Lamb of God, made no reply.
Then saith Pilate unto Him, Speakest Thou not unto me,
Remember, I have the power to crucify Thee;
But Jesus answered, Thou hast no power at all against me,
Except from above it were given to thee.
Then Pilate to the Jews loudly cried,
Take Him away to be crucified;
Then the soldiers took Jesus and led Him away,
And He, bearing His Cross, without dismay.
And they led Him to a place called Golgotha,
But the Saviour met His fate without any awe,
And there crucified Him with two others, one on either side,
And Jesus in the midst, whilst the Jews did Him deride.
Then Pilate tried to pacify the Jews, they felt so morose,
And he wrote a title, and put it on the Cross;
And the title he wrote did the Jews amuse,
The writing was, Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews.
This title read many of the Jews without any pity;
And the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city;
And the title was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin,
And while reading the title the Jews did laugh and grin.
While on the Cross the sun refused to shine,
And there was total darkness for a long time;
The reason was God wanted to hide His wounds from view,
And He kept the blessed sun from breaking through.
And to quench His thirst they gave Him vinegar and hyssop,
While the blood from His wounded brow copiously did drop,
Then He drank of it willingly, and bowed His head,
And in a few minutes the dear Saviour was dead.
Then Joseph of Arimathea sadly did grieve,
And he asked if Pilate would give him leave
To take the body of Jesus away,
And Pilate told him to remove it without delay.
Then Joseph took the body of Jesus away,
And wound it in linen, which was the Jewish custom of that day,
And embalmed his body with spices sweet,
Then laid it in a new sepulchre, as Joseph thought meet.
But death could not hold Him in the grave,
Because He died poor sinners' souls to save;
And God His Father took Him to Heaven on high;
And those that believe in Jesus shall never die.
Oh! think of the precious Blood our Saviour did loss,
That flowed from His wounds while on the Cross,
Especially the wound in His side, made with a spear,
And if you are a believer, you will drop a silent tear.
And if you are not a believer, try and believe,
And don't let the devil any longer you deceive,
Because the precious Blood that Jesus shed will free you from all sin,
Therefore, believe in the Saviour, and Heaven you shall enter in!
William Topaz McGonagall |
All ye tourists who wish to be away
From the crowded city for a brief holiday;
The town of Nairn is worth a visit, I do confess,
And it's only about fifteen miles from Inverness.
And in the summer season it's a very popular bathing-place,
And the visitors from London and Edinburgh finds solace,
As they walk along the yellow sand beach inhaling fresh air;
Besides, there's every accommodation for ladies and gentlemen there.
Then there's a large number of bathing coaches there,
And the climate is salubrious, and very warm the air;
And every convenience is within the bathers' reach,
Besides, there's very beautiful walks by the sea beach.
The visitors to Nairn can pass away the time agreeably,
By viewing Tarbetness, which slopes downwards to the sea;
And Queen Street is one of the prettiest thoroughfares,
Because there's splendid shops in it, and stocked with different wares.
And there's ornamental grounds, and lovely shady nooks,
Which is a great advantage to visitors while reading their books;
And there's a certain place known as the Ladies' Beach,
So private that no intruder can them reach.
And there's many neat cottages with gardens very nice,
And picturesque villas, which can be rented at a reasonable price;
Besides, there's a golf course for those that such a game seeks,
Which would prove a great attraction to the knights of clubs and cleeks.
The surrounding scenery of Nairn is magnificent to be seen,
Especially its fertile fields and woodlands so green;
Besides, not far from Nairn, there's Cawdor Castle, the ancient seat
Of the noble Thanes of Cawdor, with its bold turrets so neat.
And its massive proportions is very imposing to see,
Because the arched entrance is secured by a drawbridge and a fosse;
And visitors will be allowed all over the grounds to roam,
Besides shown over the castle if the Earl is not at home.
The scenery surrounding the castle is charming in the summertime,
And the apples in the orchard there is very fine,
Also the flower-beds are most beautiful to see,
Especially in the month of June, when the birds sing merrily.
Then there's the ancient stronghold of the Bays of Lochloy,
And visitors when they see it will it heartily enjoy;
And a little further on there's the blasted heath of Macbeth,
And a hillock where the witches are wont to dance till out of breath.
And as the visitors to Nairn walk along the yellow sand,
They can see, right across the Moray Firth, the Black Island so grand,
With its productive fields and romantic scenery,
And as the tourist gazes thereon his heart fills with ecstasy.
And Darnaway Castle is well worthy of praise,
And to oblige all visitors there are open days,
When they can see the castle where one thousand warriors in all
Oft have assembled in the Earl of Randolph's Hall.
And in conclusion I will say for good bathing Nairn is the best,
And besides its pleasant scenery is of historical interest;
And the climate gives health to many visitors while there,
Therefore I would recommend Nairn for balmy pure air.
William Topaz McGonagall |
Richard Pigott, the forger, was a very bad man,
And to gainsay it there's nobody can,
Because for fifty years he pursued a career of deceit,
And as a forger few men with him could compete.
For by forged letters he tried to accuse Parnell
For the Phoenix Park murders, but mark what befell.
When his conscience smote him he confessed to the fraud,
And the thought thereof no doubt drove him mad.
Then he fled from London without delay,
Knowing he wouldn't be safe there night nor day,
And embarked on board a ship bound for Spain,
Thinking he would escape detection there, but 'twas all in vain.
Because while staying at a hotel in Spain
He appeared to the landlord to be a little insane.
And he noticed he was always seemingly in dread,
Like a person that had committed a murder and afterwards fled.
And when arrested in the hotel he seemed very cool,
Just like an innocent schoolboy going to school.
And he said to the detectives, "Wait until my portmanteau I've got.
And while going for his portmanteau, himself he shot.
So perished Richard Pigott, a forger bold,
Who tried to swear Parnell's life away for the sake of gold,
But the vengeance of God overtook him,
And Parnell's life has been saved, which I consider no sin.
Because he was a man that was very fond of gold,
Not altogether of the miser's craving, I've been told,
But a craving desire after good meat and drink,
And to obtain good things by foul means he never did shrink.
He could eat and drink more than two ordinary men,
And to keep up his high living by foul means we must him condemn,
Because his heart's desire in life was to fare well,
And to keep up his good living he tried to betray Parnell.
Yes, the villain tried hard to swear his life away,
But God protected him by night and by day,
And during his long trial in London, without dismay,
The noble patriot never flinched nor tried to run away.
Richard Pigott was a man that was blinded by his own conceit.
And would have robbed his dearest friend all for good meat,
To satisfy his gluttony and his own sensual indulgence,
Which the inhuman monster considered no great offence.
But now in that undiscovered country he's getting his reward,
And I'm sure few people have for him little regard,
Because he was a villain of the deepest dye,
And but few people for him will heave a sigh.
When I think of such a monster my blood runs cold,
He was like Monteith, that betrayed Wallace for English gold;
But I hope Parnell will prosper for many a day
In despite of his enemies that fried to swear his life away.
Oh! think of his sufferings and how manfully he did stand.
During his long trial in London, to me it seems grand.
To see him standing at the bar, innocent and upright,
Quite cool and defiant, a most beautiful sight.
And to the noble patriot, honour be it said,
He never was the least afraid
To speak on behalf of Home Rule for Ireland,
But like a true patriot nobly he did take his stand.
And may he go on conquering and conquer to the end,
And hoping that God will the right defend,
And protect him always by night and by day,
At home and abroad when far away.
And now since he's set free, Ireland's sons should rejoice
And applaud him to the skies, all with one voice,
For he's their patriot, true and bold,
And an honest, true-hearted gentleman be it told.
William Topaz McGonagall |
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,
Near by Balnerino it is beautiful to behold,
When the trees are in full bloom and the cornfields seems like gold -
And nature's face seems gay,
And the lambkins they do play,
And the humming bee is on the wing,
It is enough to make one sing,
While they carelessly do stray,
Along the beautiful banks of the silvery Tay,
Beautiful silvery Tay,
Rolling smoothly on your way,
Near by Newport, as clear as the day,
Thy scenery around is charming I'll be bound.
And would make the heart of any one feel light and gay on a fine summer day,
To view the beautiful scenery along the banks of the silvery Tay.
William Topaz McGonagall |
I dreamt a dream the other night
That an Angel appeared to me, clothed in white.
Oh! it was a beautiful sight,
Such as filled my heart with delight.
And in her hand she held a flaming brand,
Which she waved above her head most grand;
And on me she glared with love-beaming eyes,
Then she commanded me from my bed to arise.
And in a sweet voice she said, "You must follow me,
And in a short time you shall see
The destruction of all the public-houses in the city,
Which is, my friend, the God of Heaven's decree.
Then from my bed in fear I arose,
And quickly donned on my clothes;
And when that was done she said, " Follow me
Direct to the High Street, fearlessly.
So with the beautiful Angel away I did go,
And when we arrived at the High Street, Oh! what a show,
I suppose there were about five thousand men there,
All vowing vengeance against the publicans, I do declare.
Then the Angel cried with a solemn voice aloud
To that vast end Godly assembled crowd,
"Gentlemen belonging the fair City of Dundee,
Remember I have been sent here by God to warn ye.
"That by God's decree ye must take up arms and follow me
And wreck all the public-houses in this fair City,
Because God cannot countenance such dens of iniquity.
Therefore, friends of God, come, follow me.
"Because God has said there's no use preaching against strong drink,
Therefore, by taking up arms against it, God does think,
That is the only and the effectual cure
To banish it from the land, He is quite sure.
"Besides, it has been denounced in Dundee for fifty years
By the friends of Temperance, while oft they have shed tears.
Therefore, God thinks there's no use denouncing it any longer,
Because the more that's said against it seemingly it grows stronger.
And while the Angel was thus addressing the people,
The Devil seemed to be standing on the Townhouse Steeple,
Foaming at the mouth with rage, and seemingly much annoyed,
And kicking the Steeple because the public-houses wore going to be destroyed.
Then the Angel cried, " Satan, avaunt! begone!"
Then he vanished in the flame, to the amazement of everyone;
And waving aloft the flaming brand,
That she carried in her right hand
She cried, "Now, friends of the Temperance cause, follow me:
For remember if's God's high decree
To destroy all the public-houses in this fair City;
Therefore, friends of God, let's commence this war immediately.
Then from the High Street we all did retire,
As the Angel, sent by God, did desire;
And along the Perth Road we all did go,
While the Angel set fire to the public-houses along that row.
And when the Perth Road public-houses were fired, she cried, " Follow me,
And next I'll fire the Hawkhill public-houses instantly.
Then away we went with the Angel, without dread or woe,
And she fired the IEawkhill public-houses as onward we did go.
Then she cried, "Let's on to the Scouringburn, in God's name.
And away to the Scouringburn we went, with our hearts aflame,
As the destroying Angel did command.
And when there she fired the public-houses, which looked very grand.
And when the public-houses there were blazing like a kiln,
She cried, " Now, my friends, we'll march to the Bonnet Hill,
And we'll fire the dens of iniquity without dismay,
Therefore let's march on, my friends, without delay.
And when we arrived at the Bonnet Hill,
The Angel fired the public-houses, as she did well.
Then she cried, "We'll leave them now to their fate,
And march on to the Murraygate.
Then we marched on to the Murraygate,
And the Angel fired the public-houses there, a most deserving fate.
Then to the High Street we marched and fired them there,
Which was a most beautiful blaze, I do declare.
And on the High Street, old men and women were gathered there,
And as the flames ascended upwards, in amazement they did stare
When they saw the public-houses in a blaze,
But they clapped their hands with joy and to God gave praise.
Then the Angel cried, "Thank God, Christ's Kingdom's near at hand,
And there will soon be peace and plenty throughout the land,
And the ravages of the demon Drink no more will be seen.
But, alas, I started up in bed, and behold it was a dream!
William Topaz McGonagall |
'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.