From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard


by Thomas Gray

Stanza 19 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 73-76

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

  • Since the poor villagers who are buried in the churchyard live far away from the noise and strife of crowded cities, they never learned to stray away from more sober, serious wishes and desires.
  • Because they live in a secluded ("sequester'd") area, they were able to live their lives without making a lot of hubbub or noise.
  • Fun fact! Thomas Hardy, the English novelist, gives a shout-out to Thomas Gray by titling one of his novels Far from the Madding Crowd.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...