Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by Thomas Gray

Updated: Nov 1, 2021




An elegy is a poem written to mourn the death of someone. Here we will explore the hidden depths of this philosophic poem.

Halloween is a time to face fears. Do not allow the fear of a lack of comprehension of this poem stop you from attempting to mine its meaning and beauty.


I recommend reading this poem before my show. But I will be reading the poem itself.


Here is a reading of the poem I like:




 
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

BY THOMAS GRAY


The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,

The plowman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.


Now fades the glimm'ring landscape on the sight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds,

Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;


Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r

The moping owl does to the moon complain

Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,

Molest her ancient solitary reign.


Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,

Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,

Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.


The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,

The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,

The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.


For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

Or busy housewife ply her evening care:

No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.


Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;

How jocund did they drive their team afield!

How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!


Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,