by John J. Miller on May 18, 2013

in Blog Posts

  • Sumo

This weekend’s WSJ carries my article on what was once arguably the most famous poem in the world: “Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard,” by Thomas Gray:

“Gray’s Elegy,” wrote Leslie Stephen (the father of Virginia Woolf), “includes more familiar phrases than any poem of equal length in the language.” Its 32 stanzas burst with celebrated passages: “The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day”; “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen”; “Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife”; and so on. Robert L. Mack, Gray’s definitive biographer, has observed that a recent edition of the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations draws from 15 stanzas and reproduces 13 of them whole.

For the full text of the poem, go here.

Gray's Elegy

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