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.
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 and even as I spake,
Throb on her brows?
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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