Thomas Gray

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

comp. 1746-7

p. 15 February 1751

"Gray's Elegy is indeed composed in much the same manner as a commonplace book," John Guillory, Cultural Capital 88.

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.I1

Now fades the glimmering landscapeI3 on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsyI4 tinklings lull the distant folds;I2

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,I5
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

. . . .

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow'r is born to blushI6 unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

. . . .

Did Gray Plagiarize?

Full Poem

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