Study Guide

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Stanza 2

By Thomas Gray

Stanza 2

Lines 5-8

Now fades the glimm'ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

  • So what's happening, exactly? The "glimm'ring landscape" is fading from the poet's sight. Must be sunset, but we knew that from the first stanza.
  • The air is quiet, too, except for the buzz of the occasional beetle and the tinkling bells hanging around the necks of livestock in their "folds" (a.k.a. barns).
  • Sounds peaceful and sleepy, like everything is winding down.
  • There are some interesting literary devices in these lines, too: "solemn stillness" is a great example of alliteration, and the speaker personifies the "tinkling" of the bells when he says that they're "drowsy." Go to the "Symbols" section for more on these literary tools!