Born: 1850, Lis­burn, Coun­ty An­trim, Ire­land.


Cowan was edu­cat­ed at Tri­ni­ty Col­lege, Dub­lin (BA 1871, MA 1874), and lived in Bang­or, Coun­ty Down.

Many of his po­ems were set to mu­sic.



In the Churchyard

There—swoon not, heart: lean on this charnel-rail;
Gleams in yon niche to the east the chancel-pane,
Blood-stained with the sweet image of Christ slain,
Whereto of old she raised her pure brows, pale
With prayer. Oft I have seen the proud sun scale
Those casement bars, and, slowly broadening, pass
Down, and strike out the nailed hands from the glass,
And leave them quivering, like a Holy Grail,
On her fair head, fallen in prayer. I brake
A spray from the tombs, and When, O spray, I said,
There will she kneel again, and God’s strong light
Throb on her brows?
and even as I spake,
A while owl wailed in the niche, and overhead
The great church clock struck the dead hour of Night.

Samuel Kennedy Cowan, Poems, 1872



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