David Gray, a Scottish poet, born at Dunti-blae, near Glasgow, Jan. 29, 1838, died at Merk-land, Dec. 3, 1861. His father was a hand-loom weaver with a large family. David, the eldest, was intended for the ministry. When he was still very young the family removed to Merkland, on the other side of the Luggie, with which stream much of his poetry is associated. He finished his education with a partial course at Glasgow university, becoming proficient in Greek, Latin, and French. After spending some time there as a private tutor, he wrote to Mr. Milnes (now Lord Houghton), enclosing manuscript poems and asking for advice. Milnes recognized his genius, but discouraged his plan of going to London as a literary adventurer. Nevertheless he went, arriving there early in May, 1860, with but a sovereign in his pocket. He spent the first night in Hyde Park, contracting the pulmonary disease of which he died. Meanwhile he had sent his poem "The Luggie" in manuscript to several literary men of celebrity, but none of them found time to read it. He called on Milnes, who befriended him and sent the poem to Thackeray, recommending it for the "Cornhill Magazine;" but Thackeray rejected it.

It soon became evident that Gray was seriously ill, and Milnes sent him home to Scotland. At last, through the agency of Sydney Dobell, a publisher was found for his poems, and a specimen page of proof reached the author the day before he died. "The Luggie and other Poems" appeared in London in 1862, and in Boston in 1864 (enlarged ed., 1874).