Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.
Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Editions can help.

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Summary & Analysis
by Thomas Gray

Question about this poem?
Have a question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
Have a specific question about this poem?
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
A LitCharts expert can help.
Ask us
Ask us
Ask a question
Ask a question
Ask a question

"Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is the British writer Thomas Gray's most famous poem, first published in 1751. The poem's speaker calmly mulls over death while standing in a rural graveyard in the evening. Taking stock of the graves, he reflects that death comes for everyone in the end, and notes that the elaborate tombs of the rich won't bring their occupants back from the dead. He also commemorates the common folk buried in the churchyard by imaging the lives they might have lived had they been born into better circumstances, and considers the benefits of anonymity. The poem ends with his own imagined epitaph.

Get
Get
LitCharts
Get the entire guide to “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” as a printable PDF.
Download