The Beautiful River Dee

Bonnie Jeannie, will you go with me,
And view the beautiful scenery of the river Dee,
And the bonnie deer browsing on the heathery hills,
While down their sides run clear sparkling rills?

Which the traveller can drink of when he feels dry,
And admire the dark river Dee near by,
Rolling smoothly and silently on its way,
Which is most lovely to see on a fine summer day.

There the trout doth sport and play
During the livelong summer day;
Also, plenty of salmon are there to be seen
Glittering like silver in the sun’s sheen.

And the mountains are rugged and wild to be seen,
But the woodlands are beautiful when Nature’s face is green.
There numerous rabbits do gambol all day,
Which will make Jeannie’s heart feel light and gay.

There’s one charming spot, most beautiful to be seen,
Beautiful Balmoral, the Highland home of Great Britain’s Queen.
The Castle with its surrounding scenery is lovely to see,
While, near by, rolls past the dark river Dee.

So, bonnie Jeannie, will you go with me,
And beautiful Balmoral you will see,
And love will fill our hearts with glee,
As we walk together on the banks of the Dee?

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Comments (4) »

  1. A Thorne
    In the year 2018, on the 6th day of October at 2:30 pm

    I don’t think this is one of his best. Despite being bad, it isn’t so bad that it is wonderful, as so many of Mr McG’s poems are. And what is happening with those clear sparkling rills in the first verse? They seem to be running down the deer, not the hills.

  2. Robert Haynie
    In the year 2018, on the 6th day of October at 5:20 pm

    In response to Mssr. (or Ms.) Thorne:

    This, I believe, one of his earlier works. As such, the Poet was still trying to find his poetic “voice”, as it were, and could therefore be expected to be influenced by other, less… original writers.

    Further, most of his truly unique works are based on one of three subjects–

    Royalty and/or aristocracy,

    Natural disasters and/or deaths (and attendant funerals),

    And of course natural disasters resulting in deaths and attendant funerals of royalty and aristocracy.

    True, McGonegall never actually wrote a poem on the latter subject, but that is merely because it simply never actually happened for him to write about. I for one have little doubt that, had the Duke of York been struck by a meteor that also obliterated most of Aberdeen, he would have produced a three volume epic. (Bonus points if somehow this also led to a band of plucky soldiers fighting off the armies of the Tsar. Or Martians.)

    Seriously. Unless it was either somehow broken, dead, or wore a coronet, it tended to me more mundane than his more notable works. For the most part, his muse’s chariot was drawn by the twin palfreys of Crown and Catastrophe.

  3. Dan E
    In the year 2018, on the 8th day of October at 10:52 am

    I’ve known people like William who seemed to thrive on Death and Disaster, and would be given the title of Dr Death. I can just imagine William having one of those bronze like ornaments that were around in those times. The Four Horsemen seems to come to mind.

  4. Chris Hunt
    In the year 2018, on the 8th day of October at 7:46 pm

    Actually, Robert, this poem was written in 1894 – fully fifteen years into his poetic career. In this later period he doesn’t play quite so fast and loose with form and scansion as he did in his early days.

    He also wrote about a lot of things beyond toffs and disasters, just take a look at the subject distribution on the stats page.

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