An Elegy in A Country Churchyard and Odes on the Pleasure Arising from Vicissitude, A Distant Prospect of Eton College, and the Bard
Place Published: New York
Publisher: Effingham Maynard & Co.
Book Id: 26163
42pp. Thin sixteenmo. Stapled tan and black printed wraps. Good. The covers and pages are lightly moisture stained. Page 9 is slightly soiled. There is occasional marginalia in pencil throughout the pages. The corners of the pages are lightly bumped.
Perhaps as early as 1742, or perhaps later, Gray embarked on a long meditative elegy in the style of the Retirement Poem. The "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" was composed over a long period of time, and was probably taken up again in the winter of 1749, upon the death of his aunt Mary. The poem, though immediately inspired by the deaths both of his intimate friend, Richard West, and of his aunt, in time turned into a memento mori meditation on and lament for the inevitable fate of all human beings.