The Castle of Mains

William McGonagall

ANCIENT Castle of the Mains,
With your romantic scenery And surrounding plains,
Which seem most beautiful to the eye,
And the little rivulet running by,
Which the weary traveller can drink of when he feels dry.
And the heaven's breath smells sweetly there,
And scented perfumes fill the air,
Emanating from the green trees and beautiful wild flowers growing there.

There the people can enjoy themselves
And wile away the time,
By admiring the romantic scenery In the beautiful sunshine;
And pull the little daisy,
As they carelessly recline
Upon the grassy green banks,
Which is most charming to see,
Near by the Castle of the Mains,
Not far from Dundee.

Then there's the old burying-ground,
Most solemn to see,
And the silent dead reposing silently
Amid the shady trees,
In that beautiful fairy dell
Most lovely to see,
Which in the summer season
Fills the people's hearts with glee,
To hear the birds singing and the humming of the bee

Good grief. William Topaz McGonagall was prolific in writing about places - mostly about his home town, Dundee, its surroundings and other places in Scotland. It is remarkable how he almost utterly fails to capture any atmosphere of a place, using extraordinarily general, dull, repetitive and meaningless descriptions - banks are "green", the scenery is "romantic", trees are "shady". He does include geographical information though, so you know that Mains Castle (also known as Fintry Castle) is near trees, plains a stream and a graveyard. You also learn that it's not far from Dundee. These days it lies on the Caird Park golf course on the city's northern edge.