30 May 2010


by William McGonagall

Ancient town of Leith, most wonderful to be seen,
With your many handsome buildings, and lovely links so green,
And the first buildings I may mention are the Courthouse and Town Hall,
Also Trinity House, and the Sailors' Home of Call.

Then as for Leith Fort, it was erected in 1779, which is really grand,
And which is now the artillery headquarters in Bonnie Scotland;
And as for the Docks, they are magnificent to see,
They comprise five docks, two piers, 1,141 yards long respectively.

And there's steamboat communication with London and the North of Scotland,
And the fares are really cheap and the accommodation most grand;
Then there's many public works in Leith, such as flour mills,
And chemical works, where medicines are made for curing many ills.

Besides, there are sugar refineries and distilleries,
Also engineer works, saw-mills, rope-works, and breweries,
Where many of the inhabitants are daily employed,
And the wages they receive make their hearts feel overjoyed.

In past times Leith shared the fortunes of Edinboro',
Because if withstood nine months' siege, which caused them great sorrow;
They fought against the Protestants in 1559 and in '60,
But they beat them back manfully and made them flee.

Then there's Bailie Gibson's fish shop, most elegant to be seen,
And the fish he sells there are, beautiful and clean;
And for himself, he is a very good man,
And to deny it there's few people can.

The suburban villas of Leith are elegant and grand,
With accommodation that might suit the greatest lady in the land;
And the air is pure and good for the people's health,
And health, I'm sure, is better by far than wealth.

The Links of Leith are beautiful for golfers to play,
After they have finished the toils of the day;
It is good for their health to play at golf there,
On that very beautiful green, and breathe the pure air.

The old town of Leith is situated at the junction of the River of Leith,
Which springs from the land of heather and heath;
And no part in the Empire is growing so rapidly,
Which the inhabitants of Leith are right glad to see.

And Leith in every way is in itself independent,
And has been too busy to attend to its own adornment;
But I venture to say and also mention
That the authorities to the town will pay more attention.

Ancient town of Leith, I must now conclude my muse,
And to write in praise of thee my pen does not refuse,
Because the inhabitants to me have been very kind,
And I'm sure more generous people would be hard to find.

They are very affable in temper and void of pride,
And I hope God will always for them provide;
May He shower His blessings upon them by land and sea,
Because they have always been very kind to me.

Don't forget McGonagall online for all your Tayside tragedian needs


His Girl Friday said...

nope, not gonna comment, nope...

CalumCarr said...

Jams, thanks for reminding us all how good my McGonagallesque writing is compared with the original!


Does anyone see the old fool
Whose words shine as a jewel


I'm going to take my pills now!

James Higham said...

A William McGonagall poem - now that's a shock to the system.

jams o donnell said...

HGF go on I dare you to comment!

You are surely William Topaz reincarnated

No suprise to see the Tayside Tragedian on this blog James!

JD said...

I weep whenever I read his "Tay Bridge Disaster"


jams o donnell said...

It brings a tear to every poetry lover's eye JD!

Kay Dennison said...

I love McGonagall!!!!! But then my family is from Aberdeen . . . need I say more?

jams o donnell said...

It is poetry to treasure Kay!