Baldovan Mansion

Stately Mansion of Baldovan,
Most beautiful to see,
Belonging to Sir John Ogilvy,
Ex M.P. of Dundee.

The scenery of Baldovan
Is most lovely to see,
Near by Dighty Water,
Not far from Dundee.

’Tis health for any one
To be walking there,
O’er the green swards of Baldovan,
And in the forests fair.

There the blackbird and the mavis
Together merrily do sing
In the forest of Baldovan,
Making the woodlands to ring.

’Tis delightful to hear them
On a fine summer day,
Carolling their cheerful notes
So blythe and so gay.

Then there’s the little loch near by,
Whereon can be seen every day
Numerous wild ducks swimming
And quacking to each other in their innocent play.

Sir John Ogilvy is a very good man,
Long may he live to enjoy Baldovan
Because he is kind unto the poor,
And allows everyone to be served at his door.


By the time this poem was published in the second series of Poetic Gems, Sir John Ogilvy had died (inspiring his own gem in passing). Accordingly, the first and last stanzas were omitted and, for some reason, the poem was renamed to just “Baldovan”. The truncated poem and title appeared in all subsequent publications, with one exception.

The full-length poem does appear in Select Poems of McGonagall; copied, one assumes, from an original broadside that pre-dated Sir John’s death.

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Comments (2) »

  1. Jim R.
    In the year 2011, on the 14th day of December at 7:10 am

    Given this and his other poems about nature, McGonagall sure had an eye for wildlife, didn’t he?

  2. Stephen Midgley
    In the year 2018, on the 15th day of July at 7:38 am

    An astute comment, Jim R. – William demonstrates an exceptional mastery of ornithology by his observation that ducks swim and quack.

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