Lines in Praise of the University of St. Andrews Liberal Association Annual Dinner

’Twas on the 9th of February, in the year 1894,
I was invited to St. Andrews, near by the sea-shore,
Where a dinner was given by the members of the Liberal Association,
Which, I must confess, met with my appreciation.

The dinner was held in the Marine Hotel,
And a very sumptuous dimmer, few could it excel;
There was beef and potatoes, bread, fruits, and ham,
And we ate until we were as full as we could cram.

There were M.P.’s and clergymen present there,
And, in particular, an old minister, who offered up a prayer–
A most beautiful prayer – invoking God to bless the food,
So it might do our sinful bodies good.

There were eloquent speeches delivered by several gentlemen,
Numbering, I daresay, about nine or ten,
Which made the company’s hearts feel light and gay,
And helped to drive dull care away.

There were several songs sung by gentlemen there;
And some of them were well sung, I do declare,
Which were loudly applauded by the social company,
And such a social company was most beautiful to see.

It was the most select company ever I was in;
And to make such a confession I commit no sin;
Because each one was more kinder than another,
And all went smoothly, without any bother.

The Marine Hotel is the grandest over I did see;
And for grandeur it cannot be surpassed in the City of Dundee,
Because the bedding and the furniture is magnificent to be seen,
Which would please either Duke, Lord, or Queen.

And, as for the landlord, Mr Rusack, he’s very kind,
Also Mrs Rusack; more kinder people would be hard to find,
I wish them every success for their kindness to me,
Long may they live, and their family.

The promoters of this grand function ten days ago appear to have been at some trouble to bring together the most distinguished “lights” of their party. These included Mr Ferguson, M.P., and and a cloud of Professorial dignitaries, sandwiched between Mr Cathcart of Piteairlie; Mr Duffus, Cupar; Mr Guild, Lindores; Mr Thomas Brown, St. Andrews, and Mr Henry Robertson, Edengrove. And in order that the occasion, which was pregnant with great results both for the St. Andrews Burghs and for East Fife, might he duly immortalised, the promoters — unable, we suppose, to find a genius of their stamp in Fife — went all the way to Dundee, asking a poet to join them, and to sing a pæan of praise on their festivities. Their favourite, poet, it is satisfactory to observe, has not gone so far over to Radicalism as to despise Royalty, for he announces with pride in his works that he has been “patronised by Her Majesty and Lord Wolseley of Cairo; H.R.H. the Duke of Cambridge, the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, and General Graham.” As the result of ten days incubation, the poet has brought out a charming ode to the “sumptuous dinner;” and as he has been good enough to send it to us, with the request “to give the poem a corner in your valuable paper,” we have, we need hardly say, the greatest pleasure in complying with his wishes.

Fife Herald and Journal, 21st February 1894

Related Gems

Comments »

No comments have been entered yet.

Leave a comment

Solve this puzzle to prove you’re not a robot