Saturday, February 02, 2008


St. Brigid's Day

It's St. Brigid's Day again and once more I am joining in celebration by posting some poetry I feel you all should share.

Seems I missed it last year (February having crept up on me without warning, like cheap underwear) and upon review of my archives I see that in 2006 I also posted a poem by William McGonagall. Apparently I know no other poets.

This may explain quite a lot.

Should anyone be siezed with a great desire to hurt me quite vigorously after reading this poem, please note that the address posted on my sidebar is my PO box and there's no point in looking for me there.

Without further ado, for your delight, I present perhaps his best-known poem:

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,
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 clouds 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 peoples 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.

Well, I know where you live, anyway. :-)
Ah! Poetism at its most lengthy.
I don't know where you live, but anyway, you're far enough away to be safe, even if I did.
jen in sydney
A rat trap in that PO Box sounds might good about now. :)
Of course, one shouldn't shoot the messenger, should one?
Can you imagine the delight Mr. McGonagall would have had if the blog opportunity had existed for him?
I'm with Sally. Making fun of a great peot (or his messenger) would like, all unclassy and stuff.
Um, well, that's dark. You doing OK up there? It's also Imbolc! Spring is coming, spring is coming!! :)
Who said "mental"?

I'm embarrassed to tell you I knew that poem (who said "mental"?), and many others like it. A friend of mine collects them, though his chief emphasis is on similar ones about airship disasters. You should meet him. I think I'll arrange it. I'm afraid you'd have a lot in common.

Me, I managed to miss St. Brigid altogether, yet again. That's getting to be a tradition with me, but not in a good way.

Carol, are you by any chance a Molesworth fan?
Oh. My. God.
You fiend.
i'll stick to ogden nash, thankyouverymuch!
Ah, well, if you liked that one you'll love "the Sweet Singer of Michigan"'s poem about the Ashtabula Bridge Disaster!
On a completely unrelated subject, you've made your way into my head. To clarify, I live in Victoria and listen to Jack (you must know the station--you've got one too). They play a wide variety of music, and every time Nazareth comes on (yep, you can see where this is going), all I can think is "Love Sploots", and I cannot get it out of my head. Honestly....
Apparently, Karl Marx and another leading communist were going to get that train, but decided to get a later one. If they had caught that train, the Russian revolution may never have happened!

You can still see the stumps of the old bridge when you go over the new bridge in the train.

Jane-Beth in Edinburgh

ps Are you still collecting washcloths? I have knitted some more, and was not sure if you still wanted them.
I like that the moral of the story is about 'buttresses.' Because that has 'butt' in it.

More wine?
This reminded me of "the Wreck of the Hesperus" that we read in grade 7; maritime disaster, daughter lashed to the main mast, everyone died, yadda yadda.

Who says that all poems have to be happy? If you're looking for a change of pace, try reading hundred-year-old obituaries. They can be quite, um, flowery.
Congratulations! The worst poem I have ever read. Really. Thanks.

Judithgay, how did you manage to just have to read "The wreck of the H?" We had to memorize the damn thing...50 years later, I still know all 1000 verses. Mind you it comes in useful with bores at parties...
My first visit here - you can thank the Harlot for leading me down this Rabbitch hole!
I have to admit it: I like the almost Ogden Nash-like rhyme of 'buttresses and 'confesses.'
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