Balbulican

A Tribute To Her Majesty Queen Victoria Upon the Occasion of Her Near Assassination by the Scoundrel McLean

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William McGonnagal is, of course, best known as the Bard of the Tay River Bridge. While his imaginatively rhymed celebrations of its design, construction and tragic collapse failed to achieve for that architectural miracle the immortality that Walt Whitman won for its lesser counterpart in Brooklyn, the Songbird of Scotland proved himself equally gifted when it came to chronicling the news of the day. In honour of our holiday weekend, here is William McGonnagal's deathless reflection on an assassination attempt against his beloved Queen Victoria.

On March 2nd 1882m Queen Victoria was leaving Windsor railway station when Roderick Maclean, a Scotsman, stepped forward from the cheering crowd and fired a revolver into her carriage. The man was seized by the crowd and arrested; not amused but intact, the Queen and her companions rode on to Windsor Castle. It emerged during the trial that Maclean, like McGonagall, was a young poetaster whose verses to the Queen had been politely declined. Unlike McGonnagal, he decided to act upon the impulse that has no doubt surged within the breast of unappreciated artists since the birth of the first critic.

The Attempted Assassination of the Queen

God prosper long our noble Queen,
And long may she reign!
Maclean he tried to shoot her,
But it was all in vain.

For God He turned the ball aside
Maclean aimed at her head;
And he felt very angry
Because he didn't shoot her dead.

There's a divinity that hedges a king,
And so it does seem,
And my opinion is, it has hedged
Our most gracious Queen.

Maclean must be a madman,
Which is obvious to be seen,
Or else he wouldn't have tried to shoot
Our most beloved Queen.

Victoria is a good Queen,
Which all her subjects know,
And for that God has protected her
From all her deadly foes.

She is noble and generous,
Her subjects must confess;
There hasn't been her equal
Since the days of good Queen Bess.

Long may she be spared to roam
Among the bonnie Highland floral,
And spend many a happy day
In the palace of Balmoral.

Because she is very kind
To the old women there,
And allows them bread, tea, and sugar,
And each one get a share.

And when they know of her coming,
Their hearts feel overjoy'd,
Because, in general, she finds work
For men that's unemploy'd.

And she also gives the gipsies money
While at Balmoral, I've been told,
And, mind ye, seldom silver,
But very often gold.

I hope God will protect her
By night and by day,
At home and abroad,
When she's far away.

May He be as a hedge around her,
As he's been all along,
And let her live and die in peace
Is the end of my song.

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This page contains a single entry by Balbulican published on May 20, 2013 10:33 AM.

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