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Transcript of Churchyard
A Country Churchyard A Poem Written by Thomas Gray
Rhyme Scheme : Quick Facts on the Author 1) He was born on the 26th of December 1716 and died on the 30th of July 1771 2) Classic scholar and professor at Cambridge A B A B 3) Richard West = important friend Background A grievous loss A mother figure Historical Context 1) While Gray was writing this poem the world was going through a period of Intellectual Development, also known as "Age of Enlightenment" - a philosophical movement that grew out of the great advances made by scientists in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. overall meaning:
no matter what social level or class you're in, everyone ends up dying at some point.
promised humanity new hope for controlling the worlds problems 2) Everything was based on a 'rich' class/'poor' class system 3) By the middle of the century Gray wrote his Elegy which got enough public support to stand on its own 4) The poem displays Enlightenment principles in the way that the speaker shows faith that the rural poor could be intelligent and successful if they had proper education 5) The Catholic Church, which had been a strong influence in European politics for centuries, was threatened by the skepticism of Enlightenment thinkers who felt society should be organized according to rational rather than religious principles. which means.... higher social classes shouldnt be considered any more important then lower social classes easier way to read it:
though the guy who died was not necessarily the most upbeat and happy person, he had a good life and cared about others. He also followed Gods laws, and at the end of the Epitaph it says to not try and focus on his good and bad points, because they are now with him in Heaven. it also says that the man was very humble and did not know future or fame, but he did become a scholar. Long years of studying Greek and Roman Literature Dead will no longer have family homes ext Regardless of beauty, wealth, ext. all will eventually die A member of parlament <- Prevented from hiding truth or shame
bragging, using flattering words to gain luxuries and feed pride Muse: inspiraton for art ; writters, musicion, dancers and historians The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me. Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a moldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell forever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share. Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor. The bells of a funeral in the church ring to symbolize life's end,
The soft winds pass by the meadow,
The farmer dreadfully heads home,
And darkness covers the landscape. Under the shades of trees
Is where burial mounds are located,
One by one in a uniform placement forever will be,
Where ancestors, some with unfinished business, are laid to rest. The farmers collected a harvest with their sickles,
Their narrow groove was made in the stubborn soil; They drove their horses to the field so happily!
They tamed the land underneath their steady hands. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike the inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honor's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayed,
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repressed their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. The applause of listening senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their history in a nation's eyes,
Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered Muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
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?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Even from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who mindful of the unhonored 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.
"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by. "Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Muttering his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or crazed with care, or crossed in hopeless love.
"One morn I missed him on the customed hill,
Along the heath and near his favorite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; "The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow through the churchway path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn." The Epitaph
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frowned not on his humble birth,
And Melacholy marked him for her own. Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heaven did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Misery all he had, a tear,
He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend. 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. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Not even you as the arrogant can find to put the blame on others
You create memory of the dead, rather than erect sculptures,
This is where the long coffin deteriorates
And the fond epitaph is worn away from the tombstomb. They think she is smart,
She never ceases to end wasting her life away;
The poverty-stricken held back their anger,
And stopped their gentle hearts. Higher powers were sucking up, trying to gain control,
Trying to quiet the poverty-stricken people,
To appear kind and nice to the public,
And trying to walk in the country's shoes Away from the crazinesss of the poverty-stricken people
The poverty was persistent;
And separated from the rest of society
They were drawn away from attention. For who has ever accepted,
That he will be forgotten,
Leaving the warmth of earthly life,
Without regret? Out of the blue, some old peasant might say,
We have seen him greet each day,
Each and every morning upright up on the hill; On a usual meeting spot one morning, my friend didn't show up,
Near the woods, by his special tree;
Something appeared, but not by the brooke,
Not by the hill, and not by the woods either; Yet even these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture decked,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. MEANING OF THE TITLE The first word in the title "Elegy" means mournful, sadness.
"Elegy written in a country churchyard" is the noteworthy in that it mourns the death not of great or famous people, but of common men. MEANING OF THE POEM AS A WHOLE The title tells us in the poem that the speaker sees the country churchyard is filled with sorrows.
The speaker leads praise to the dead for honest, simple life they lived as explained. CENTRAL THEME (Death) Supporting the theme--- In lines 36-42: explains that the mighty and proud once who lie beneath the earth like humble men and women are now buried in the churchyard. Except Distant/
remote in simpler terms... the guy in the poem was not the most upbeat and happy person, but he was always kind and sensitive to others and was very humble. it also says that although he was not famous, he went on to become a scholar, and he also followed gods laws this epitaph is meant to sum up the whole poem, and it talks about the mans life and towards the end it 'tells' people to not find more about his good points or bad points, because they are now with him in heaven. Speaking in a dull or depressing tone, but the speaker is expressing and describing the peaceful landscape that surrounds him.The character in the poem is having a grave stillness which travels through the air, "solemn stillness." The forefathers are sleeping in their beds and if they are then they will never rise again from their "bed" to hear the country life living. "Lowly beds" meaning living in a condition where you are enduring death. THe term rouse meaning awake from sleep. Shrill meaning high-pitch. Stanza as a whole: looks forward into the Romantic period: In these four lines, the speaker talks about how we should be aware of those who are wealthy and powerful but not to look down on the power. The poor were destined to be famous, but they never were because they didn't have anything written about them or any historical record. The speaker is telling the reader that no matter what you have whether you are wealthy, beautiful, or have any other pleasant characteristic; all will someday die. The speaker also points to the reader that they should not look down or have sympathy for the poor. The speaker also says that nothing can bring the dead back to life, and all the power or values the wealthy have is useless in the dust, meaning to face death. Honor can't bring back life. It seems like the speaker's thoughts on death has a will or mind of its own. The speaker is comparing the humble village people to undiscovered gems in caves at the bottom of the ocean and undiscovered flowers in the desert. Serene which describe the humble people, and blush is embarrassment or shame. In this stanza, the speaker is trying to say that there is more to life. Not having good deeds, but their bad deeds such as killing enemies to gain the throne and refusing to show mercy to people or mankind. Circumscribed meaning preventing or prevented. Describing the words on the gravestone that of course these people were uneducated; they were humble words/scripture written on the stone. This sign elicits a sign from the people that see them. Explaining that dying people or person relies on a friend to provide engraved words on the tombstone. The person that is being buried; their tombstone is being cried upon from rememberance. Explaining to look out for the hopeless love, and listing his length of his tired body. The next day the funeral songs started playing and the church read a short poem for the dead. Quiz for The elegy written in a country churchyard
1.From the slide show presented, what’s the effect for the end rhyme that was explained by Jessica?
2.What year was Thomas Gray born from the explanation given by a Christine?
3.In the poem, pertaining to the last three stanzas (the epitaph), what’s the message it’s giving us as the reader about the author? (Presented by Kaity)
4.Who is present at the country churchyard?
5.What’s being said in lines 111-114? Dressed Gloomy Of anyone/body surrounded by plants comparing the owl and the Queen The dead will no longer have the joys in life like children, houses, or wives Talking proudly of ones roots The science of tracing family lines Rituals or celebrations surrounded by nobels and royal No matter what kind of life people live, they all lead to the same place Full of great ideas Handled by Kings and Emperors someone in the cemetary could have been a great leader, and someone else in the cemetary could have been a great musician if they were given the oppertunity Member of parlament who opposed King Charels taxes Great english scholar and poet Presenting a great hero for standing up against the king The villagers lot in life also prevented them from hiding truth and shame and from bragging or using pretty or flattering words to gain luxuries and feed their pride. Uneducated writter or engraver Bible Pious villager muse Their name and age appear with bible quotes, but no lofty tributes For thee is himself. Villagers deserve some sort of memorial Unpredictable or unwanted thoughts Wander The forest is compared to a person as it smiles