1808 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cunningham

James McHenry, in "An Ode written after a Visit at Dromore House, in May 1808" Bard of Erin (1808) 48 &n.



Ah! where the youth, who knew so well,
Th' emotions of the heart to sway;
Who made these woods the praises tell,
Of ANNA, lovely "Queen of May!"
He's gone to bowers of lasting rest;
He tunes his lyre amongst the blest!
When then, O Robinson, that sigh!
Thy youthful friend could never die:
Ye yet shall meet in realms above,
And tune angelic harps, to friendship and to love!

William Cunningham, who died in 1804. An ingenious young man, whom the benevolence of the Bishop of Dromore rescued from poverty and obscurity. He wrote, among many other pieces, a highly finished poem, intitled the "Queen of the May." Romney Robinson possessed the sincerest friendship for him, and lamented his premature death in that most pathetic elegy, beginning with "Hark, midst the gloom of Lagan's winding shores," which, together with the "Queen of the May" above mentioned, may be seen in the printed volume of this young author's juvenile poems.