Study Guide

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Stanza 29

By Thomas Gray

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Stanza 29

Lines 113-116

"The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow thro' the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Grav'd on the stone beneath yon aged thorn."

  • The speaker continues to imagine what an old villager would say about him after his death: 
  • And on the third day after the speaker didn't show up, the old villager says that dirges (funeral songs) were played, and that they saw the speaker carried slowly along the path to the church in a funeral procession.
  • The villager invites the random passerby who asked (the "kindred spirit" of line 96) to read the epitaph that is engraved on the speaker's tombstone, underneath the gnarly old thornbush.

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