Gossip from Truth

Her Majesty is strongly opposed to the abolition of the office of Poet Laureate, and Mr Gladstone shares her sentiments on the subject, so that a successor to Lord Tennyson will certainly ba appointed. The salary is £72 a year, which is paid quarterly by the Lord Chamberlain.

Among the candidates for the vacant Laureateship, I hope that the claims of Mr Wm. McGonagall, of Step Row, Dundee, will not be overlooked. Mr McGonagall describes himself as “The Bard of Tel-el-Kebir, El-Teb,” &c. Like his brother poets, he has made his bid for the vacancy in the shape of a poem on the “Death and Burial of Lord Tennyson.” It bears on the top the Royal Arms and the letters ” V.R.” — for what reason, I do not understand, unless it is that McGonagall is “patronised” (as he goes on to state) “by Her Majesty, Lord Wolseley of Cairo, and H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge.” The poem opens thus:—

Alas! England now mourns for her poet that’s gone—
The late and the good Lord Tennyson. . . .

He was a man that didn’t care for company,
Because company interfered with his study,
And confused the bright ideas in his brain,
And for that reason from company he liked to abstain.

He has written some fine pieces of poetry in his time,
Especially the May Queen, which is really sublime. . .

After a few more lines in this strain we come to the funeral of the Laureate:—

The pall bearers on the right of the coffin were Mr W. E. H. Lecky,
And Professor Butler, Master of Trinity, and the Earl of Rosebery;
And on the left were Mr J. A. Froude and the Marquis of Salisbury,
Also Lord Selborne, which was an imposing sight to see.

There was also on the left Professor Jowett,
Besides Mr Henry Whyte and Sir James Paget.

* * * *

Likewise Henry Irving, the great tragedian,
With a solemn aspect, and driving his brougham.

I don’t profess to be a judge of poetry myself. but this seems to me quite on a par with Walt Whitman.

Dundee Courier, 27th October 1892

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