An Address to the Rev. George Gilfillan

Original Text: 
William McGonagall, More Poetic Gems, ed. D. W. Smith (Dundee: D. Winter, 1972): 51. MCC M34 Z7M35m 1972 Fisher Rare Book Library
2He is the greatest preacher I did ever hear or see.
3He is a man of genius bright,
4And in him his congregation does delight,
5Because they find him to be honest and plain,
6Affable in temper, and seldom known to complain.
7He preaches in a plain straightforward way,
8The people flock to hear him night and day,
9And hundreds from the doors are often turn'd away,
10Because he is the greatest preacher of the present day.
11He has written the life of Sir Waiter Scott,
12And while he lives he will never be forgot,
13Nor when he is dead,
14Because by his admirers it will be often read;
15And fill their minds with wonder and delight,
16And wile away the tedious hours on a cold winter's night.
17He has also written about the Bards of the Bible,
18Which occupied nearly three years in which he was not idle,
19Because when he sits down to write he does it with might and main,
20And to get an interview with him it would be almost vain,
21And in that he is always right,
22For the Bible tells us whatever your hands findeth to do,
23Do it with all your might.
24Rev. George Gilfillan of Dundee, I must conclude my muse,
25And to write in praise of thee my pen does not refuse,
26Nor does it give me pain to tell the world fearlessly, that when
27You are dead they shall not look upon your like again.


1] George Gilfillan (1813-78), Scottish dissenting minister, critic, and editor of poetry. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
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