John Macken

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Macken, John, a poet, who wrote under the pseudonym of "Ismael FitzAdam," was born at Brookeborough, County of Fermanagh, probably about the close of the 18th century. We have few particulars concerning his life, except that he passed some years as a sailor in the navy, and was present at the bombardment of Algiers. In 1818 a volume of poems by him was published in England — The Harp of the Desert, and in 1821 his Lays on Land. Despite the earnest commendations of his friend, the editor of the Literary Gazette, they met little acceptance, and he returned disheartened to his native country. He started and edited the Erne Packet, or Enniskillen Chronicle, to "which he contributed many elegant compositions in prose and poetry." He died 7th June 1823. Several communications respecting him and his works will be found in Notes and Queries, 3rd Series. In one of these Dr. Gatty writes: "It appears to me that this neglected writer had much of that condensed power which is so remarkable in Campbell's war lyrics; and his tenderness and delicacy are exquisitely shown in the five love sonnets." The Literary Gazette, June 1823, which notices his death, contains some stanzas to his memory by "L. E. L." The same are also given in the Gentleman's Magazine a few months later.

Sources

146. Gentleman's Magazine. London, 1731-1868.
Gilbert, John T., see Nos. 110, 335.

233. Manuscript and Special Information, and Current Periodicals.

254. Notes and Queries (3). London, 1850-'78.
O'Callaghan, John C., see No. 186.

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