Study Guide

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Tough-o-Meter

By Thomas Gray

Tough-o-Meter

(4) Base Camp

This is a long poem, it's true, but the form is pretty straightforward—four-line stanzas, or quatrains and a regular rhyme scheme and meter to go with it. The subject matter is something that most of us have thought about, too—death, and how people are remembered after they've died. But the poem was written way back in 1751—over 260 years ago! So the language that Thomas Gray used can be a bit tricky to navigate for modern readers without your ole' pal Shmoop to guide the way!

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