Thomas Gray: His Reflections on Mortality Are Immortal

Born today was poet Thomas Gray,

A one-hit wonder, you might say.

He’s mainly remembered for being the bard

Of “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”.

The excerpt and illustration at the heading of this post  is from the above book, an edition of the “Elegy” published by The Heritage Press in 1951.  The book’s illustrations are wood-engravings  by the incomparable  Agnes Miller Parker; she  sketched them  in the same  churchyard —at Stoke Poges, England— where Gray composed his masterpiece. I was fortunate to find a copy of the book on a visit to Galena at the Peace of the Past antique shop, a delightful place for any bibliophile  to browse.

Filed under: literature, poetry

Tags: 1716-1771


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  • Truly immortal lines, and such a beautiful book. A treasure!

    You inspired me to read this poem in its entirety again, in my "Oxford Book of English Verse" (I found it in a used bookstore, maybe Bookseller's row on Lincoln Ave. ) He is in good company. One of the great ones....

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