© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard


by Thomas Gray

Stanza 23 Summary

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

Lines 89-92

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev'n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

  • Even simple, poor, country folks like the villagers in the churchyard depend on their loved ones as they die (or as their souls "part" from the world).
  • They need some pious, religious friend or neighbor to close their eyes for them as they die.
  • It's only natural, after all—it's the "voice of Nature" (yep, "Nature" is—you guessed it—being personified!).
  • That voice of Nature calls out from the grave, and the villagers' accustomed passions (their "wonted fires") live on in their ashes, or their remains.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...