Honours to Poet McGonagall

Our respected townsman has experienced a singularly fortunate week. Intimation has reached the Poet in his dwelling in South Street that he is no longer the plain “Mr” McGonagall, poet, but Sir William Topaz McGonagall, Knight of the Order of White Elephants of Burmah and Ordained Poet Laureate to Theebaw, King of Burmah. With becoming modesty the Poet wears his newly-conferred honours, and satisfaction is expressed on all hands at the honour, which comes as the reward of a life-long devotion to the Muses. In addition to the title there is also the magnificent offer that Sir William will be made welcome to any part of the King’s dominions, and a Royal Order to the effect that Scotland’s Poet on landing in Burmah is to receive the honours befitting his exalted rank will be issued. It is the Poet’s desire to visit the Eastern countries, and suffering as he does from a bronchial ailment the Poet looks forward to his visit as a happy release to his troubles, and as affording him a fresh field for the cultivation of his poesy. Only one condition remains to be fulfilled in order that the poet may accomplish his desire — namely, that His Royal Highness Theebaw send the money for his passage out. Sir William is in high glee, and to add to his honours he has received a letter from the secretary of the Scottish Patriotic Society in Nova Scotia, dated 25th January, 1895, sending copy of a resolution passed at a meeting of fellow-countrymen (and admirers). The minute sets forth that they had long been aware of the place the Poet held in the heart of the Scottish people, not only at home, but abroad. In Canada his name is well known as the Poet of the people, and they Scotsmen looked forward to the day when his genius would be fully recognised and exalted, hoping that one day he would wear the mantle which had been worn by so many illustrious singers as Poet Laureate to Her Majesty the Queen.

Dundee Courier, 19th February 1895

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