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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

McGonagall's Black Watch Memorial poem


Skipman
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Ye sons of Mars, it gives me great content

To think there has been erected a handsome monument

In memory of the Black Watch , which is magnificent to see,

Where they first were embodied at Aberfeldy

There follows another 17 verses then

Then the toast was drunk with Highland honours and hearts

While Pipe-Major McDougall played " The 42nd March at Waterloo "

So ended the proceedings in honour of the Black Watch , the bravest of men,

And the company with one accord sung the National Anthem

Genius or what? :lol:

Mike

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He is either the best of the bad poets, or the worst of the good ones!

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Interesting that William Topaz uses the term ' embodied'. This crops up regularly on forum, as does disembodied. The Bard would read of that event in the paper in the morning, write out his 20 verses of immortal rhyme and nip round the printers. He would be flogging copies in the pub that night at a penny a time. Incidentally, these were ordinary pubs frequented mainly by millworkers of Dundee. How many copies of a poem could he expect to sell in your local if he turned up tonight?

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Genius or what?

Poet and tragedian, is how he described himself.

It is the misfortune of Scottish poetry that he is probably the second-best known Scottish poet, especially outside Scotland.

Ron

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He has a rival for the title of worst poet in the English language. His contemporary Theophile Marzails a library assistant at the reading room of the British Museum. Like McGonagall Marzails considered himself an unappreciated genius

A Tragedy by Theophile Marzials

Death!

Plop.

The barges down in the river flop.

Flop, plop,

Above, beneath.

From the slimy branches the grey drips drop...

To the oozy waters, that lounge and flop...

And my head shrieks - "Stop"

And my heart shrieks - "Die."...

Ugh! yet I knew - I knew

If a woman is false can a friend by true?

It was only a lie from beginning to end--

My Devil - My "friend."...

So what do I care,

And my head is empty as air -

I can do,

I can dare

(Plop, plop

The barges flop

Drip, drop.)

I can dare, I can dare!

And let myself all run away with my head

And stop.

Drop

Dead.

Plop, flop,

Plop.

I shudder to think what either of them would have made of the events of WW1

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The original Big Mac coped with the campaign in Egypt, Bannockburn, Gordon in Khartoum and the collapse of the first Tay Bridge. WW1 would have been handled in the same inimitable style. The Battle of Tel-El-Kebir is a gem.

But Major Hart and the 18th Royal Irish, conjoint,

Carried the trenches at the bayonet's point;

Then the Marines chased them about four miles away,

at the charge of the bayonet, without dismay!

A poet who can rhyme with conjoint has nothing to fear from a mere world war.

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The original Big Mac coped with the campaign in Egypt, Bannockburn, Gordon in Khartoum and the collapse of the first Tay Bridge. WW1 would have been handled in the same inimitable style.

Fragment from my ouiji board

Across the ground the tanks did clank

And took the enemy well in the flank.

And I would say remember dear Sirs,

This took place quite near the town of Flers

And it was remarkable to see

How the news was received by the men of Germany.

It struck them much like a bomb

Towards the end of the battle on the Somme

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Fragment from my ouiji board

Across the ground the tanks did clank

And took the enemy well in the flank.

And I would say remember dear Sirs,

This took place quite near the town of Flers

And it was remarkable to see

How the news was received by the men of Germany.

It struck them much like a bomb

Towards the end of the battle on the Somme

Topaz resurgam!

( Latin scholars please excuse any solecism)

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Across the ground the tanks did clank

....

Towards the end of the battle on the Somme

Well, his scansion's improving!

Ron

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Good point Tom

I wonder, were there any really bad WW1 poets, who's lack of ability has not recieved due criticism?

Mike.

There is a thread on WW1 poetry sent in to papers by ordinary readers and I have a little book which gives some verses from a paper in my home town. Some would never be published but I think WW1 poetry is judged on different criteria than normal verse. I personally believe that several of the war poets would be forgotten now if it were not that they are anthologised as 'war' poets rather than judged as poets per se.

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