The poem Elegy written in a country churchyard is composed by Thomas Gray published in 1751. The inspiration for the poem is still unknown. However, it is believed that the idea for this elegy came after the death of Richard West in 1742. The original title of the elegy is Stanzas Wrote in a Country Church-Yard. The poem was sent to Horace Walpole who popularised the poem among literary circles in London. Gray was forced to publish the poem by an editor of a magazine.
The poem is popular as elegy but it does not seem an elegy; it characterises more as an ode than an elegy. It is a contemplative, meditative and reflective that tends to be Horatian’s private odes. The poem illustrates narrator argument throughout the poem; the comfort lies in pondering about rustics buried in the country churchyard. In the poem, rural panorama has been glorified. As narrator thinks about them, so he solaces himself. He saw many his ancients in the graveyard.
The Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is an all-time poem, which has become immortal. The immortality of the poem lies in few stanzas of the poem. The stanzas:
“ Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”
This stanza has been using not only in literary circles rather people of different walk of life. It is a great source of inspiration for them who have scarce of resources.