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Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard


by Thomas Gray

Stanza 6 Summary

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

Lines 21-24

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.

  • Now the speaker is listing the kinds of day-to-day pleasures that these dead guys in the graveyard aren't going to get to enjoy anymore. So many lists!
    (1) No one is burning the hearth fire for them anymore.
    (2) No housewife is trying to take care of him after he gets home from work in the evenings.
    (3) No little kids are yelling, "Daddy's home!" when he gets back from work. (A few vocab clarifications on this one: since little kids don't enunciate clearly, poets used to describe children's speech as "lisping," and "sire" means "father.")
    (4) No little kids climb up onto his lap for kisses that would make their siblings envy them.
  • Wow, the speaker is really piling up the reasons it's a total bummer to be dead. Those poor dead guys in the graveyard! They're really missing out!

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