Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" was first published in 1751. Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour. Thomas Gray (26 December 1716 – 30 July 1771) was an English poet, letter-writer, classical scholar, and professor at Pembroke College, Cambridge.He is widely known for his Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, published in 1751.. Gray was an extremely self-critical writer who published only 13 poems in his lifetime, despite being very popular. Ev’n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, The origins of the poem are unknown, but it was somewhat inspired by Gray’s thoughts of the death of the poet Richard West in 1742. Gray was alive to the external manifestations of Nature and observed them curiously, as is clear from his reflections in his poems. The Elegy is perhaps the most widely known poem in English. The threats of pain and ruin to despise, The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; This, in summary, is what the ‘Elegy’ is about. “One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill, His originality is endorsed by Gazamian who writes that “he was the first to feel the attraction of the Middle Ages and of Scandinavian antiquity …… The‘Bard’, and specially, the “Fatal Sisters’ and the “Descent of Odin’ composed before the publication of Perey’s ‘Reliques’ are, as it were, soundings taken in medieval superstition, of primitive legends and beliefs of simple and popular wonder, the depth and fecundity of which were to be gradually realized.”. Written over several years in the 1740s, Thomas Gray’s elegy was eventually published in 1751 and enjoyed phenomenal popularity for the next two hundred years. Along the heath and near his fav’rite tree; It is indeed,a cry of human sympathy. Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke! The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. The Elegy is perhaps the most widely known poem … Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray: Summary and Analysis Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is composed in quatrains, where the first line rhymes with the third, and the second with the fourth. Empson cites the following stanza: As Empson points out in his analysis of this stanza, Gray’s analogy with the natural world – with gemstones and flowers – makes English society’s lack of social mobility seem natural, even inevitable. (In the same year that Gray’s friend died, he coined the nonce-word ‘leucocholy’, for ‘a white Melancholy’ which ‘though it seldom laughs or dances, nor ever amounts to what one calls Joy or Pleasure, yet is a good easy sort of a state.’ (‘Melancholy’ is from the Greek for ‘black bile’. And pore upon the brook that babbles by. There are other merits which this poem possesses, and these merits go to add to the popularity of this poem. After Gray’s death too some people will talk of him, some may be curious even to visit his grave and to read the epitaph on his tomb. Gray is the first poet who depart from this beaten track of town life and concentrates his attention on the Middle Ages and the Norse and Scandinavian mythology. And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r The sublimity of the Alps and the religous horror of high mountains are frank expressions of his visions,-things as others would see them. Thoms Gray began writing this elegy in 1742 and finished in 1750. Reblogged this on D.B. Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; “The next with dirges due in sad array Pingback: 10 of the Best Poems about Churches | Interesting Literature. Mutt’ring his wayward fancies he would rove, William Empson, in an influential reading in his 1935 book Some Versions of Pastoral, thought not. He discarded four stanzas of an early version, which were probably read by his friend Horace Walpole, and planned to title the work simply “Stanzas” until his friend William Mason suggested … If these obscure farm labourers are truly like flowers that ‘blush unseen’, i.e. The poem presents the argument … Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect, Thank you for sharing! The tone of the poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray" is sad and somber. Poetry Analysis: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Thomas Gray’s elegy Source: geograph.org.uk (creative commons license) Hey, you’ve successfully read the four elegy analysis articles and this is the last ... Read morePoetry Analysis: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard – Part 5 Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust, Your email address will not be published. Speaking of these peasants, the poet says, that some of these poor peasants could have been great rulers or statesmen, famous musicians or poets, if they had not been ignorant and poor. Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” belongs to the genre of elegy. (Confusingly, although Gray’s ‘Elegy’ isn’t an elegy in the strictest sense but more of an ode, his other most famous poem, ‘Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Goldfishes’, is more of an elegy than an ode.). This is the only reason Gray agreed to publish it: it was going to be published anyway, with or without his say-so. In the reflections of the elegy,it is difficult to conceive of anyone musing under similar circumstances who should not muse in the way Gray has done. And shut the gates of mercy on mankind. If Mem’ry o’er their tomb no trophies raise, John Penn installed a memorial in the churchyard for Gray which is engraved with an Elegy. 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