Study Guide

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Stanza 26

By Thomas Gray

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Stanza 26

Lines 101-104

"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

  • The speaker continues to imagine what the "hoary-headed swain" would say about him, if a random passerby happened to ask.
  • He imagines the old guy saying that at noon, the speaker used to stretch out at the foot of the old beech tree—the one that has fantastically weird roots—and that he would stare at the babbling brook.
  • "Listless length" in line 103 is another great example of alliteration.

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