1800-1880 [Bard of Dunclug]; b. Ballymena, Co. Antrim; blind from three, and regained sight in left eye after four years; emigrated Canada, 1827, shipwrecked on St. Lawrence, and returned home to work as weaver; local agent for linen firm; poems in newspapers; three volumes, Midnight Musings, or Thoughts from the Loom (1848); Children of the Year, with other poems and songs (Belfast 1876); and The Snow-wreath (Belfast 1869); a monument erected in 1883. PI MKA DUB
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Selected Works of David Herbison, with life ... by Rev. David McMeekin (Belfast 1883); works incl. Midnight Musing; or thoughts from the Loom (Belfast 1848); Woodland Wanderings (1858); The Snow-Wreath (1869); The Fate of McQuillan and ONeills Daughter ... (1841).
See also review of Robin Bryans, The Dust has Not Yet Settled; and Let the Petals Fall, in Fortnight,328 (May [q.d.]), p.46.
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E. R. Mc. C. Dix, The Beaufoy Sale, in The Irish Book Lover, Vol. I, No. 1 (August, 1909), writes of a Collection of Loyal Songs sung in Orange Lodges, in 2 parts (1798): One of the songs in this collection was the well-known one commencing July the first in Oldbridge Town, and I single it out for special mention for this reason. When the late Canon Hume and David Herbison, the “Bard of Dunclug”, were engaged collecting the scattered fragments of the original ballad, The Boyne Water, supposed to be written by an eye-witness, probably a Williamite trooper, and commencing July they first of a morning clear, they found the original ballad had been almost superseded in popularity by this later version, which they could not trace earlier than 1814. Indeed the father of the late William Johnston, of Ballykilbeg, M.P., stated it was composed in July of that year. (See Ulster Journal of Archoeology, 1854.) Yet here we have it printed sixteen years' earlier.
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W. J. Paul, Modern Irish Poetry (Belfast 1894-1897), Vol II (1897), biographical sketch, cites Herbisons The Lives of the Ulster Poets [q.d.] in which are given accounts of John Getty, Henry Fletcher [sic for Flecher]; Thomas Henry; Robert MAlister; Mrs White; John Smythe (Magowan); Mrs Treacy, Alexander MKenzie, James Smyth, et al.; most of these have been ticked in pencil by the hand of John Hewitt - with a corrig. on Fletcher - in the edition in his library (Collection of UU Lib., Coleraine).
D. J. ODonoghue, The Poets of Ireland: A Biographical Dictionary (Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co 1912) lists The Fate of McQuillan, and ONeills Daughter, with other poems, songs and notes (Belfast 1841); other works, printed in Belfast; known as The Bard of Duclog; went to Canada, wrote in many papers including Coleraine Chronicle; anthologised in Elliss Songs of Ireland.
Brian McKenna, Irish Literature, 1800-1875: A Guide to Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research Co. 1978) cites John Hewitt, Rhyming Weavers [and Other Country Poets of Antrim and Down] ([Blackstaff] 1974)
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