Poetry Sunday: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

This is a famous poem, longer than the ones I usually feature here and with many lines that are often quoted in various contexts. I've always liked it. 

I find country cemeteries places of bittersweet memories and of peace. Most of my relatives who have left this life are buried in one of them. and I'm often reminded of many of the lines in this poem when I visit them there.

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

by Thomas Gray


  1. You're right, it is long, but I liked it!

    "The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
    Awaits alike th' inevitable hour.
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

    1. I'm glad you liked it. It has always been a favorite of mine.

  2. For me this is a blast from the past, Dorothy. Thomas Gray's Elegy was required reading in English high schools in my day. I memorized the first several verses but too long to remember all of it. But I loved it and Gray was one of my favorite English poets. P. x

    1. It's a blast from my past as well. School is where I first read it and loved it. It has remained very meaningful to me over the years.

  3. I have not spent much time in graveyards. Except when visiting Ireland, it seemed appropriate somehow. My parents were cremated with ashes scattered, so no grave to visit. But I do like graveyards as they feature in novels.

    1. They are generally portentous and evocative places in novels. The poet stresses the unfulfilled potential of those buried in his country churchyard. Unfulfilled possibly because of poverty, lack of education, lack of opportunity.


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