Well, Shmoopers, you probably saw this one coming: "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" is a poem that takes place in a cemetery, and it's about how people are remembered after they're dead. So you better believe that death is an important theme! But if this theme gets you down, don't worry—the poem isn't all doom and gloom, and there are plenty of other themes to consider in relationship to this central focus on death.
Glass half full alert! The presence of so many birds, trees, and other natural elements suggests that death is relieved by the possibility of renewal and new life.
This isn't about the simply country folk. Nope, the poem exists for the speaker to mourn the inevitability of his own death.