January 28, 2013

Descriptive Jottings of London

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--Description: 18th C, McGonagall, William T., Humor, Tribute--



As I stood upon London Bridge and viewed the mighty throng
Of thousands of people in cabs and 'busses rapidly whirling along,
All furiously driving to and fro,
Up one street and down another as quick as they could go:

Then I was struck with the discordant sound of human voices there,
Which seemed to me like wild geese cackling in the air:
And the river Thames is a most beautiful sight,
To see the steamers sailing upon it by day and by night.

And the Tower of London is most gloomy to behold,
And the crown of Englandlies there, begemmed with precious stones and gold;
King Henry the Sixth was murdered there by the Duke of Glo'ster,
And when he killed him with his sword he called him an impostor.

St. Paul's Cathedral is the finest building that ever I did see;
There's nothing can surpass it in the city of Dundee,
Because it's most magnificent to behold
With its beautiful dome and spire glittering like gold.

And as for Nelson's Monument that stands in Trafalgar Square,
It is a most stately monument I most solemnly declare,
And towering defiantly very high,
Which arrests strangers' attention while passing by.

Then there's two beautiful water-fountains spouting up very high,
Where the weary travellers can drink when he feels dry;
And at the foot of the monument there's three bronze lions in grand array,
Enough to make the stranger's heart throb with dismay.

Then there's Mr Spurgeon, a great preacher, which no one dare gainsay
I went to hear him preach on the Sabbath-day.
And he made my heart feel light and gay
When I heard him preach and pray.

And the Tabernacle was crowded from ceiling to floor,
And many were standing outside the door;
He is an eloquent preacher, I solemnly declare,
And I was struck with admiration as I on him did stare.

Then there's Petticoat Lane I venture to say,
It's a wonderful place on the Sabbath day;
There wearing apparel can be bought to suit the young or old
For the ready cash-- silver, coppers, or gold.

Oh! mighty city of London! you are wonderful to see,
And thy beauties no doubt fill the tourist's heart with glee;
But during my short stay, and while wandering there,
Mr Spurgeon was the only man I heard speaking proper English I do declare.



William Topaz McGonagall

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--Did You Know: (March 1825 – 29 September 1902) William T. McGonagall was a Scottish weaver, doggerel poet and actor. He won notoriety as an extremely bad poet who exhibited no recognition of or concern for his peers' opinions of his work. He wrote about 200 poems, including his infamous "The Tay Bridge Disaster", which are widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature. Groups throughout Scotland engaged him to make recitations from his work; contemporary descriptions of these performances indicate that many listeners were appreciating McGonagall's skill as a comic music hall character, and his readings may be considered a form of performance art. Collections of his verse continue in popularity, with several volumes available today. McGonagall has been acclaimed as the worst poet in British history. The chief criticisms are that he is deaf to poetic metaphor and unable to scan correctly. In the hands of lesser artists, this might generate dull, uninspiring verse. McGonagall's fame stems from the humorous effects these shortcomings generate. Read more at: William T. McGonagall

--Word of the Day: birl \burl\, verb:

1. To spin or cause to rotate.
2. Chiefly Northern U.S. Lumbering. To cause (a floating log) to rotate rapidly by treading upon it.
3. British. A. To move or rotate rapidly. B. Informal. To spend money freely. C. Informal. To gamble.

noun:
1. British Informal. An attempt; a gamble.
Example:
I feel a bit light, then it's like my brain starts to birl in my head sending my thoughts and emotions cascading around.
-- Irvine Welsh, Filth

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--Quote of the Day: Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.
- Albert Schweitzer

--Language Arts-SPANISH: desvelar, verb
to reveal; to keep awake
Desvelar is a verb with two rather different meanings. It can mean to reveal something secret, such as names, identities, and mysteries.
Example:
El presidente de la comisión rehúsa desvelar los nombres.
The chairman of the commission refuses to reveal the names.


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