It says he was a young person of humble birth, a scholar and a poet, who experienced depression. No farther seek his merits to disclose, Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, There they alike in trembling hope repose The bosom of his Father and his God. The early version of the poem was finished, according to Mason, in August 1742, but there is little evidence to give such a definite date. The story that the Swain tells us works to make Gray the subject of the poem and mimics the poetic action that Gray hoped someone would undertake after his death. Both and spent time near the setting of Stoke Poges, which was also affected by the. Yet there is a special pathos in these obscure tombs; the crude inscriptions on the clumsy monuments are so poignant a reminder of the vain longing of all men, however humble, to be loved and to be remembered. Gray's meditations during spring 1750 turned to how individuals' reputations would survive.
I slumbered with your poems on my breast Spread open as I dropped them half-read through Like dove wings on a figure on a tomb To see, if in a dream they brought of you, I might not have the chance I missed in life Through some delay, and call you to your face First soldier, and then poet, and then both, Who died a soldier-poet of your race. This is stated as pathetic, but the reader is put into a mood in which one would not try to alter it. First, they are poor because they must use these methods instead of servants to wake them. The lowing herd still needs to be herded. It is lucid, and at first appears as seamless and smooth as monumental alabaster.
His descriptions move from sensations to his own thoughts as he begins to emphasise what is not present in the scene; he contrasts an obscure country life with a life that is remembered. In 1749, several events occurred that caused Gray stress. Later critics tended to comment on its language and universal aspects, but some felt the ending was unconvincing—failing to resolve the questions the poem raised—or that the poem did not do enough to present a political statement that would serve to help the obscure rustic poor who form its central image. The evening breeze has stopped and the air holds stillness, except the beetles, making a monotonous humming sound. Gray's is natural, whereas Milton's is more artificially designed. Regardless of his feelings, do you think Gray deliberately sets himself apart from such people? But now, not even the mist of the morning breeze and the call of the birds and animals shall make them rise from their grave.
Gray, however, without overstressing any point composes a long address, perfectly accommodating his familiar feelings towards the subject and his awareness of the inevitable triteness of the only possible reflections, to the discriminating attention of his audience. The poem, like many of Gray's, incorporates a narrator who is contemplating his position in a transient world that is mysterious and tragic. The cattle were slowly moving to shelter, as they passed through the fields, and so did the farmers, who were walking heavily after the day's hard work. This excerpt is yet another demonstration of the tendency in elegy to seek, through the writing of the poem, a sense of consolation in grief. Alas for the splendour of the prince! A transfer of Epithet: a word which actually describes it to a word which is closely related to it. The thoughts of mortality and finally submitting to death. Gray is most admired, and I think with justice; yet there are comparatively speaking but a few who know of anything of his, but his 'Church-yard Elegy,' which is by no means the best of his works.
An extreme example was provided by the classicised French imitation by the Latin scholar John Roberts in 1875. Using that previous material, he began to compose a poem that would serve as an answer to the various questions he was pondering. To waves that she was meant to see again, I come alone to sit upon this stone You saw her sit on then. Elegy is a masterpiece and my aim is to make readers help in understanding this poem without any difficulty. No one wishes to get an oblivion curse. The four stanzas beginning Yet even these bones, are to me original: I have never seen the notions in any other place; yet he that reads them here, persuades himself that he has always felt them. Even though the farmers successfully harvest their crops and conquer the woods, death will win out in the end.
So basically, Thomas Gray writes his own epitaph at the end of this poem. For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey, This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, Nor cast one longing lingering look behind? Produced by chromolithography, each of its 35 pages was individually designed with two half stanzas in a box surrounded by coloured foliar and floral borders. But in recent decades its popularity has declined. He could strangely perceive the owl, complain to the moon about her inconvenience. The description of death and obscurity adopts Locke's political philosophy as it emphasises the inevitability and finality of death. The 'Elegy' is a beautiful technical accomplishment, as can be seen even in such details as the variation of the vowel sounds or the poet's rare discretion in the choice of adjectives and adverbs.
As he began to contemplate various aspects of mortality, he combined his desire to determine a view of order and progress present in the with aspects of his own life. A little earlier there had been a compositely illustrated work for which the librarian John Martin had been responsible. The poem needs great attention and a detailed explanation to highlight the theme of the poem clearly. Between 1777-8 was commissioned by to produce an illustrated set of Gray's poems as a birthday gift to his wife. .
As the speaker does so, the poem shifts and the first speaker is replaced by a second who describes the death of the first: For thee, who mindful of th' unhonour'd Dead Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; If chance, by lonely contemplation led, Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, Haply some hoary-headed swain may say, Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn Brushing with hasty steps the dews away To meet the sun upon the upland lawn. It's dark and a bit spooky. Written in a Country Meeting House, April 1789; Parodized from Gray for the Entertainment of Those Who Laugh at All Parties by George Richards d. I immediately send it you. Then he shakes his finger at the reader, and tells us not to get all snobby about the rough monuments these dead guys have on their tombs, since, really, it doesn't matter what kind of a tomb you have when you're dead, anyway. The revised version of 1768 was that later printed.
Sharing this summary may take some effort, but this little effort will encourage me to write more poem summaries from my end! On some fond breast the parting soul relies, Some pious drops the closing eye requires; Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, Ev'n in our Ashes live their wonted Fires. The letter reveals that Gray felt that the poem was unimportant, and that he did not expect it to become as popular or influential as it did. However, the bulk of the book was made up of four English parodies. But the Four Quartets cover many of the same views, and Eliot's village is similar to Gray's hamlet. He feels that the people buried in the churchyard have been forgotten, something that he does not want to happen to himself when he dies. During the summer of 1750, Gray received so much positive support regarding the poem that he was in dismay, but did not mention it in his letters until an 18 December 1750 letter to Wharton.
One other point, already mentioned, was how to deal with the problem of rendering the poem's fourth line. First page of 's illustrated edition of Gray's Elegy with illustration by Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is a poem by , completed in 1750 and first published in 1751. Alas for the bright cup! Here, Gray creates tension as a being residing in a cheerful day must decide to resign itself to being forgotten. This is compounded further by the narrator trying to avoid an emotional response to death, by relying on rhetorical questions and discussing what his surroundings lack. This strong pathos of Gray's Elegy achieves a central position as the antithetical tradition that truly mourns primarily a loss of the self.