Poetry at the Post: The Tay Bridge Disaster by William McGonagall

The Tay Bridge Disaster

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

Fallen girders, Tay Bridge Scotland
Fallen girders, Tay Bridge

NaPoWriMo Day 28: Write a poem about bridges. I was just about to say “I don’t do bridges” but you know what? Yesterday I reviewed the proof of a poem of mine that is forthcoming in the Poet’s Republic in Aberdeen, Scotland—and it actually has a bridge in it. Here’s a preview. I’ll post the link once it is published

“Only to the bridge!” cried the adults.

“No further than the bridge.”


William McGonagall has the unfortunate reputation of being called the worst poet in the history of the English language. Well, I find that a bit of a stretch. You can read more here about the Knight of the White Elephant Burmah.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,

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