The Ulster-Scots Language Society, formed to promote the Ulster-Scots language, our own hamely tongue

Samuel Fee Given

A biographical notice, taken from Poems, from College and Country, by "three brothers".

Samuel Fee Given was born at Markstown, Cullybackey, on the 10th March, 1845. He received his education at the National School adjacent to his home, and at the Coleraine Model School. At this latter he was trained as a pupil teacher. In 1862 he was appointed to the sole charge of Tullygrawley National School, but this position he resigned in 1864, owing to a severe attack of hemorrhage of the lungs. For the three succeeding years he bore up bravely against that fell enemy, consumption, but ultimately succumbed, passing away on the 18th day of May, 1867.

It was during these three years of almost enforced idleness and ever increasing weakness that he produced most of his poems, and it may with truth be said of him that he learned in suffering what he taught in song. He was less intellectual than his brother Patrick but more emotional, and possibly more largely dowered with the spirit of tenderness and pathos.

Friends who knew him intimately still speak of his loveable disposition, his calm unruffled temper, his genial sober manliness. His style is natural and unaffected. He wrought much of his own simple, placid, uneventful life, as indeed might be expected, into the tissue of his verse, which, if it wants the somewhat glaring colours of passionate feeling and wild excitement, is not less free from those more sombre touches which might be expected from one who, in his days of literary work, had always by his side "the shadow feared of man." He was no puling, sickly youth, who fretted and fumed against fate and fortune, but one who bravely took up the burden of life, heavy as it was for young shoulders, and went his way hopefully and cheerily, as did another who boldly sings:—

"There's heaven above, and night by night
I look right through its gorgeous roof,
For I intend to get to God."