M'Donald Clarke, an eccentric American poet, born in New London, Conn., June 18, 1798, died in New York, March 5, 1842. For many years his blue cloak, cloth cap, erect military air, and beaming countenance made him one of the features of Broadway.' He was ever in a glow of poetic revery, and always celebrating in verses the belles of the town and the topics of the day. He was familiarly known in the street and in society as the mad poet. Yet his oddities were all amiable; he had no vices, always preserved a gentility of deportment, and was a regular attendant at Grace church. His death was very melancholy. Being picked up by a policeman late at night in an apparently destitute and demented condition, he was placed in a cell of the city prison, and in the morning found drowned by the flow of water from an open faucet. He was buried in Greenwood cemetery, where a handsome monument was erected, with the inscription, "Poor M'Donald Clarke!1' His poems were of various character, humorous, sentimental, and indignant, contain many touches of delicate sensibility, and have a vein of tenderness pervading all their grotesqueness and irregularity.
Some of the titles of the collections are: "A Review of the Eve of Eternity, and other Poems" (1820); "The Elixir of Moonshine, by the Mad Poet" (1822); "The Gossip" (1825); "Poetic Sketches " (1825); and "The Belles of Broadway" (1833). His last poem was "A Cross and a Coronet" (1841).