Thomas Gray

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

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This poem of Thomas Gray titled “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” is one of the beautiful poems in English literature. The poet sees a country churchyard at sunset, which impels him to meditate on the nature of human mortality. He considers the fact that in death, there is no difference between great and common people. He feels that among the lowly people buried in the churchyard there might have been some natural poets like John Milton or politicians like Oliver Cromwell. Just like some rarest gems buried in the deep sea and the finest flowers spreading their fragrance in a forest, these great people might not have been discovered at all. This thought leads him to praise these dead unsophisticated poor villagers for the honest and simple lives that they lived.
The poem has been presented along with a brief annotation.
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