A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Gray, David
Gray, David (1838-1861).—Poet, s. of a hand-loom weaver at Kirkintilloch, Dumbartonshire. He gave early promise at school, was destined for the service of the Church, and was for 4 years at Glasgow Univ. while he maintained himself by teaching. His first poems appeared in the Glasgow Citizen. In 1860, however, he went with his friend Robert Buchanan to London, where he soon fell into consumption. He was befriended by Mr. Monckton Milnes, afterwards Lord Houghton, but after a sojourn in the South of England, returned home to die. His chief poem, The Luggie (the river of his birthplace) contains much beautiful description; but his genius reached its highest expression in a series of 30 sonnets written in full view of an early death and blighted hopes, and bearing the title, In the Shadow. They breathe a spirit of the deepest, melancholy unrelieved by hope.