All Sorts and Conditions

Tayport has been honoured. Poet McGonagall has devoted a poem to its praise. A distant view of the village may be had from Dundee, but the Poet felt that in justice to himself as well as to his subject a closer inspection of the place was desirable. He crossed the “Silvery Tay,” and staff in hand wended his way towards the historic Ferry-Port-on-Craig.

Dundee people can hardly be got to believe that there is much to see about Tayport ; but see what it is to have the eye of the poet. McGonagall spent two whole days in admiring the village and its surroundings, and having taken in all the picturesque details he hastened back to his sanctum in Step Row and poured out his soul in characteristic verse.

There are some places in which our Poet — to their shame be it said — could scarcely dare to show his impressive figure. There is Kirriemuir, for example, which treated him liberally to an ovation, but the eggs were in the last stage of decomposition, and there was Brechin where — though perhaps it was in a too ardent desire to retain a memento of the illustrious one’s visit — they nailed his hat to the table and cut the crown, so that it remained there.

But it will doubtless be different in Tayport. In that quarter he should always be sure hereafter of a warm reception. The praise be bestows on Tayport will not, it is to be hoped, however, arouse the jealousy of Dundee. The villagers must feel flattered to hear it said:—

The village and its surroundings are magnificent to be seen,
And the shops on the High Street. are tidy and clean,
And the goods, I’m sure, would please the Queen,
They cannot be surpassed in Edinburgh or Aberdeen.

And the villagers’ gardens are lovely to be seen,
There sweet flowers grow and gooseberries green,
And the fragrant air will make you feel gay
While viewing the scenery there on the banks of the Tay.

The Poet proceeds to make a comparison which is not to the advantage of Dundee, and there may be some little feeling excited by the following:—

The flower beds there are very beautiful to see;
They surpass the Baxter Park flower beds in Dundee;
And are all enclosed in a round ring,
And there the bee and the butterfly are often on the wing.

Dundee Courier, 17th August 1894

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