POLY TRB / UNIT II / Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in the Country Churchyard



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Unit II – Jacobean to Augustan age

01John Milton’s Paradise Regained03
02John Dryden’s  All for Love27
03Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock43
04Andrew Marvell’s Garden64
05Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard77
06Jonathan Swift’s A Tale of a Tub98
07Addison and Steele’s The Spectators and the Coverley Papers. (Essays 1-10)117
08Oliver Goldsmith’s The Deserted village153
09Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews170
10Samuel Daniel’s Christ Victoric Triumph224
11Sir Thomas Brown’s The Garden of Cyrus227
12William Blake’s Songs of Experience237
13Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe269
14Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels295
15Henry Vaughan’s Regeneration335

5. Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in the Country Churchyard

Thomas Gray


  • Thomas Gray was an English poet, letter-writer, classical scholar and professor at Pembroke College, Cambridge.
  • He was born on 26th December 1716, in Cornhill, London.
  • He was the son of an exchange broker with many siblings.
  • He was educated at Eton College (1725 to1734), where he befriended Thomas Ashton, Horace Walpole and Richard West.
  • He entered Cambridge for his higher studies but left on 1738 without having a proper degree to pursue law in London.
  • He read widely in Greek, Latin, French and Italian, and developed interests in architecture, mediaeval literature and natural history.
  • He was the dominant poetic figure in the mid-18th century and a precursor of the Romantic Movement.
  • He is identified as one of the graveyards poets of the late 18th century, along with William Cowper, Christopher Smart, Oliver Goldsmith, Thomas Parnell, Robert Blair, Edward Young.
  • He formed a “Quadruple Alliance” with three other members (Horace Walpole, Richard West, Thomas Ashton) who liked poetry and classics.
  • His father died in November 1741, and for the next few years Gray spent most of his time in London and Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, where his mother had retired with her sisters in 1742.
  • Thomas Gray died on July 30, 1771 in Cambridge and was buried beside his mother in St. Giles churchyard of Stoke Poges, the setting for his famous Elegy.
  • A memorial was erected for him in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey.
  • John Penn installed a memorial in the churchyard for Gray which is engraved with an Elegy.


  • Thomas Gray set out in 1739 with Walpole on a grand tour of France, Switzerland, and Italy at Sir Robert Walpole’s expense.
  • He begins his career as a Classicist and ends as Romanticist.
  • He was offered the Poet Laureateship in 1757 but declined it; William Whitehead became Poet Laureate in same year.
  • He was appointed Professor of History and Modern Languages at Cambridge in 1768.
  • He made extensive tours in England and Scotland, and to the Lake District in 1767.


  • An Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College (1747)
  • The quotable line is “Where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise.”
  • Sonnet on the Death of Mr. Richard West (1742)
  • It is a tribute poem to Richard West.
  • Elegy written in a Country Churchyard (1751)
  • It is a dignified elegy in eloquent classical diction celebrating the graves of humble and unknown villagers.
  • It describes that the lives of the rich and poor are like “lead but to the grave”.
  • The poet mourns “rude forefathers of the village” and the death of all men and of the poet himself.
  • Ode on the Spring
  • Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat
  • It is a light satire and a mock elegy concerning Horace Walpole’s cat, Selima.
  • Hymn to Adversity
  • The Progress of Poesy
  • It is a Pindaric ode.
  • The Bard
  • It is a Pindaric ode which proclaims a literary declaration of independence.
  • The Fatal Sisters: An Ode
  • The Descent of Odin: An Ode
  • The Triumphs of Owen: A Fragment
  • His best poems best were “Ode on the Spring,” “Sonnet on the Death of Mr. Richard West,” “Hymn to Adversity,” and “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College.”
  • They revealed his maturity, ease and felicity of expression, wistful melancholy.
  • His unhappy childhood, tyranny of his father, separation of his mother gave melancholy character in his poems.


  • “Thomas Gray wrote anything easily but things of humour” – Walpole
  • “The Bard is the wonderful wonder of wonders” – Dr.Johnson

Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

  • ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ is a poem by Thomas Gray, completed in 1750 and first published in 1751.
  • It was partly inspired by Gray’s thoughts following the death of the poet Richard West in 1742.
  • Originally titled ‘Stanzas Wrote in a Country Church-Yard’, the poem was completed when Gray was living near St Giles’ parish church at Stoke Poges.
  • The poem was a literary sensation when published by Robert Dodsley in February 1751.


  1. The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

                        The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,

            The plowman homeward plods his weary way,

                        And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

  • Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,

                        And all the air a solemn stillness holds,

            Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

                        And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

  • Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r

                        The moping owl does to the moon complain

            Of such, as wand’ring near her secret bow’r,

                        Molest her ancient solitary reign.

  • Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,

                        Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,

            Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

                        The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

  • The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,

                        The swallow twitt’ring from the straw-built shed,

            The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

                        No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

  • For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

                        Or busy housewife ply her evening care:

            No children run to lisp their sire’s return,

                        Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

  • Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

                        Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;

            How jocund did they drive their team afield!

                        How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

  • Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,

                        Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;

            Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile

                        The short and simple annals of the poor.

  • The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,

                        And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,

            Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour.

                        The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

  1. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,

                        If Mem’ry o’er their tomb no trophies raise,

            Where thro’ the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault

                         The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

  1. Can storied urn or animated bust

                        Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?

            Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,

                        Or Flatt’ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

  1. Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid

                        Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;

            Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,

                        Or wak’d to ecstasy the living lyre.

  1. But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page

                        Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;

            Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,

                        And froze the genial current of the soul.

  1. Full many a gem of purest ray serene,

                        The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:

            Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,

                        And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

  1. Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast

                        The little tyrant of his fields withstood;

            Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,

                        Some Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood.

  1. Th’ applause of list’ning senates to command,

                        The threats of pain and ruin to despise,

            To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,

                        And read their hist’ry in a nation’s eyes,

  1. Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib’d alone

                        Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin’d;

            Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,

                        And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

  1. The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,

                        To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,

            Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride

                        With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.

  1. Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,

                        Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;

            Along the cool sequester’d vale of life

                        They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

  • Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect,

                        Some frail memorial still erected nigh,

            With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,

                        Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

  • Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d muse,

                        The place of fame and elegy supply:

            And many a holy text around she strews,

                        That teach the rustic moralist to die.

  • For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,

                        This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,

            Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,

                        Nor cast one longing, ling’ring look behind?

  • On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

                        Some pious drops the closing eye requires;

            Ev’n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,

                        Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

  • For thee, who mindful of th’ unhonour’d Dead

                         Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;

            If chance, by lonely contemplation led,

                        Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

  • Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,

                         “Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn

            Brushing with hasty steps the dews away

                        To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

  • “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.

  • “Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,

                        Mutt’ring his wayward fancies he would rove,

            Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,

                        Or craz’d with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.

  • “One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill,

                         Along the heath and near his fav’rite tree;

            Another came; nor yet beside the rill,

                        Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

  • “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 Epitaph

  • Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth

                        A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.

            Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth,

                        And Melancholy mark’d him for her own.

  • Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,

                        Heav’n did a recompense as largely send:

            He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,

                        He gain’d from Heav’n (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.

  • No farther seek his merits to disclose,

                        Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,

            (There they alike in trembling hope repose)

                        The bosom of his Father and his God.


Stanza 1:

  • The evening bell ringing in the church marked the departure of the day.
  • The cattle were slowly moving to shelter, as they passed through the fields, and so did the farmers, who were walking heavily after the day’s hard work.
  • As they went home, they left the poet who was sitting in the churchyard also in the growing darkness of the advancing evening.
  • It portrays the dark environs of Stoke Poges and the atmosphere that surrounds it.
  • The “weary way” is a example of transferred epithet.

Stanza 2:

  • As the rays of the sun deems, twilight encloses and is slowly gulfed by the serene darkness of the night.
  • The faintly lighted landscape is slowly fading and becoming invisible to the eye.
  • The evening breeze has stopped and the air holds stillness, except the beetles, making a monotonous humming sound.
  • One could hear the jingling sound of the bells round the neck of the sleepy cattle when they move their head. At last, the night has fallen in the village of Stoke poges.

Stanza 3:

  • The evening has sets in and the poet is unable to see anything. However, this doesn’t prevent the poet from describing the evening scenes.
  • He could strangely perceive the owl who complains to the moon about her inconvenience.
  • She complained about the disturbance created as someone was passing by its nest from her ancient reign, an ivy covered tower.

Stanza 4:

  • Beneath the shade of the yew tree and elm tree, gnarled and knotted through the ages, lies the narrow burials of the rustic villagers of Hamlet.
  • The poet was perhaps accustomed with those scenes since childhood, and thus he used the appropriate phrases like “yew-tree’s shade” and “mouldering heap” to present a panoramic view of the surrounding areas where the coffins were laid.
  • Each of them (the common rustics of Stoke Poges) sleep for an eternal period of time in their narrow grave surrounded by grassy plot and heaps of earth.

Stanza 5:

  • The poet laments over the fact that these men and women, use to wake up by listening to the chirping of the birds, the trumpet sounds made by the cock and their echoes.
  • But now, not even the mist of the morning breeze and the call of the birds and animals shall make them rise from their grave.

Stanza 6:

  • No more shall one find the hearth (fireplace) burning.
  • The beautiful glimpse of children climbing to their father’s knees to have the first kiss, the affectionate show of love and the envied kiss shall never to be seen again.
  • The housewife shan’t weave the clothes at evening.
  • These lines present the universal feelings, the inflow of emotions that often one encounters while losing a dear one.

Stanza 7:

  • The harvest has often yielded to their sickles.
  • The hard earth has often broken into furrows as they ploughed.
  • They have driven their team of plough-horses to the fields in jolly mood.
  • How the trees have fallen under the sturdy strokes of their axes. But not all that is gone.

Stanza 8:

  • The poet advises the ambitious not to mock at their useful labours, their homely joys and their humble destinies.
  • The poet advises the proud and the great not to smile to the short and simple records of the lives of those humble people.

Stanza 9:

  • The poet points out that the great people who boast of their great family heritage and emblems, the pomp, the beauty, wealth all of them have to “await the hour of death”.
  • All the paths of glory lead only to the grave in the end.

Stanza 10:

  • The poet would like to tell the proud people that if no rich monuments are engraved over the tombs raised on their graves; it is not the fault of the people.
  • Their bodies are not carried in coffins up the aisle of a great cathedral but as the notes of the Anthem from church would praise the life of poor people.

Stanza 11:

  • The poet asks them whether the records written on the urns carrying the remains of the dead or a life-like marble bust of the dead can bring back to the dead body the breath life.
  • He asks again if the recital of a man’s great deeds can bring back to life.
  •  He asks further whether flattery can please the dull cold ears of the dead.

Stanza 12:

  • The poet reflects that perhaps in this neglected grave is laid the body of …..
  • a person who has full of celestial fire (passion) or
  • a person who ruled an empire or
  • a person who has played a lyre.

Stanza 13:

  • The Goddess of Knowledge never opened out before them her full pages of knowledge gathered for ages.
  • Their noble ambitions were crushed by the cold poverty of their condition.
  • The genius and potential of their soul were frozen by the cold poverty of the condition.

Stanza 14:

  • The unseen heroes are buried in the churchyard like the pure gems which are hidden in the ocean.
  • Many flowers bud and bloom in some far away desert unseen by man and wasting its sweet smell in the dry desert air.

Stanza 15:

  • Any one of the following persons may be buried in this grave….
  • The brave Hampden who had courage to stand up against the unjust tax levied by Charles I.
  • The great poet Milton who died without opportunity to attain fame.
  • The great leader Cromwell who would not have been guilty of having shed the blood of his countrymen.

Stanza 16:

  • The dead people could not receive the applause of the Senates of Parliament.
  • They could not worry the threats of pain and ruin.
  • They could not give the prosperous land to the people.
  • Their humble death denied them such glory.

Stanza 17:

  • The dead people’s fate did not only limit their glory.
  • It also limited their chances to commit great crimes against man.
  • It would stop them to wade through blood to climb on to a throne.
  • It would shut out from their heart’s mercy towards all men.

Stanza 18:

  • The dead would not suppress the truth to attain their ends.
  • They would not keep down all sense of shame that they may succeed in life.
  • They would not flatter and fawn the great men by writing pleasing poems to them.

Stanza 19:

  • The dead people lived far away from the ugly conflict of men in cities.
  • Their wants were few and never led them to wrong doing.
  • They lived in a sheltered valley and followed their calm ways of life.

Stanza 20:

  • The dead people wanted some memorial stones over their graves.
  • Some wanted rough lines of verse to be inscribed on the stones.
  • Some wanted some clumsy sculpture to adorn their graves.
  • They hoped thereby to evoke the sympathy of anyone who may pass by.

Stanza 21:

  • Some grave stones have the names, the dates of birth and death, inscribed roughly on them.
  • Some others had holy texts inscribed on them to teach people to rest in peace.

Stanza 22:

  • The dead people gave up the life of pleasing and anxious (sorrows).
  • They left the warm earth without looking what they left behind.
  • They are to be forgotten by the villagers.

Stanza 23:

  • The dying person wants to leave behind some affectionate heart to feel sorrow at his loss, to shed some tears as his eyes were closed forever.
  • The living people seem to hear the cries of the dead from the graves.
  • They cry for some slight remembrance and remind the dead people and their feelings and desires of the dead like the heat remains after the fire.

Stanza 24:

  • The poet had written about simple people in the above lines.
  • The people had died unhonoured and had recorded their simple lives.
  • If by chance some person enquires about him who is dead and gone.
  • The poet imagines that an old man say something about him after his death.

Stanza 25:

  • The old man of the village may tell them that he had seen him often hurrying up on the dewy grass to greet the rising sun from some hill top.

Stanza 26:

  • The old man may tell them that the poet would lie under the beach tree and look at the brook running by nosily.

Stanza 27:

  • He would roam through the woods; He speaks to himself on his own wandering talk.
  • Sometimes he would feel sad or worried as if he is disappointed in love.

Stanza 28:

  • One day the old man missed to see the poet from his accustomed rounds.
  • He did not see the poet on hill or under the tree or by the brook or by the woods.
  • The next day also he missed the poet.

Stanza 29:

  • On the third day, the old man saw his dead body being carried in a coffin up the path by the church to the churchyard.
  • The old man asked them to go up to the grave where he was buried and read the epitaph engraved on the stone under the old Hawthorne tree.

The Epitaph

Stanza 30:

  • Here lies the body of a young man who did not win fame or fortune.
  • Though of humble birth, he learned science.
  • He went about always with a sad face.

Stanza 31:

  • He was generous and sincere.
  • He was blessed by God; He was sympathetic to all the troubles of the poor.
  • God granted him all that he asked for a good friend.

Stanza 32:

  • Let not anyone seek to learn more about him.
  • Let his merits and his weaknesses lie with him.
  •  He lies in the lap of God; he lies in heaven with God for eternal life.

5. Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in the Country Churchyard

  1. Find out who is not the precursor of Romanticism: (PG – 2006)

      (A) Gray                      (B) Collins                  (C) Thomson               (D) Donne

  • The rough span of period of the precursors of Romantic Revival is _____________ (AEEO – 2012)

      (A) 1600 – 1650          (B) 1650 – 1700          (C) 1750 – 1800          (D) 1800 – 1850

  • Who wrote the following lines: “Where ignorance is Bliss, Tis folly to be wise”?

(NET – J2014)

      (A) Pope                      (B) Gray                      (C) Collins                  (D) Southey

  • Which one of the following poets is not a precursor of Romantics? (SET – 2016)

      (A) Byron                    (B) Gray                      (C) Collins                  (D) Blake

  • Name the neoclassical poet who wrote on profound themes such as death, but he also had a lighter side. He once wrote an ode to a cat drowned in a tub of gold fishes.

            (A) Thomas Gray        (B) Ben Jonson            (C) William Collins     (D) Alexander Pope

  • Where was Thomas Gray buried?

            (A) Westminster Abbey                                   (B) The churchyard at Grantchester

            (C) Stoke Poges churchyard                           (D) Winchester Cathedral churchyard

  • Which one of these is not one of the “Graveyard Poets”?

            (A) Thomas Gray                                            (B) Christopher Smart           

            (C) Oliver Goldsmith                                      (D) Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  •  When was Thomas Gray born?

            (A) 3 June 1688                                              (B) 1 January 1701    

            (C) 26 December 1716                                   (D) 21 July 1714

  • Where did Thomas Gray have his education in 1725-1734?

            (A) Queen Mary School                                  (B) Kilkenny Grammar School

            (C) Eton College                                             (D) Holy Family School

  1. Who was with Thomas Gray during European tour of 1739- 1741 and quarrelled and separated in Italy?

            (A) Richard West        (B) Horace Walpole    (C) Horace Mann       (D) Thomas Ashton

  1. What other major poet tends to upstage Thomas Gray in eighteenth-century literature?

            (A) William Shakespeare                                (B) Alexander Pope

            (C) John Keats                                                (D) Alfred Lord Tennyson

  1. Thomas Gray’s The Bard and The Progress of Poesy are _________

      (A) Long lyrics            (B) Narrative poems   (C) Elegiac Poems      (D) Pindaric odes

  1. Which one of the followings poets is not a member of “Quadruple Alliance”?

      (A) Thomas Gray        (B) Horace Walpole    (C) Robert Walpole     (D) Richard West

  1. Who was offered the Poet Laureateship in 1757 but he declined it?

      (A) William Whitehead                                   (B) Thomas Gray

      (C) James Thomson                                        (D) William Collins

  1. Who wrote a light satire and a mock elegy concerning Horace Walpole’s cat, Selima?

      (A) Horace Walpole    (B) Oliver Goldsmith (C) Thomas Ashton     (D) Thomas Gray

  1.  “Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast”. Here Hampden refers to:

            (Engg – 2016)

            (A) a poet who is popular for his verses

            (B) a dictator who is popular for dethroning the king

            (C) a member of the Parliament who stood for people’s right

            (D) a king who was cruel

  1. Whom does Gray celebrate in his elegy? (PT – 2012)

      (A) The humble unknown dead                       (B) His friend                                                  (C) The King                                                       (D) The Duke

  1. Gray’s elegy is an example of ________ (PT – 2006)

      (A) Pastoral poetry                                         (B) Romantic poetry  

      (C) Descriptive poetry                                    (D) Graveyard poetry

  1. Which of these is the best paraphrase of the line, “The paths of glory lead but to the grave”? (NET – J2016)

      (A) Those who seek glory often die in its pursuit

      (B) Everyone dies, even the famous and glorious

      (C) The pursuit of glory is futile

      (D) The pursuit of glory is dangerous

  • Which of the following phrases is not found in Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’? (NET – J2016)

      (A) Far from the madding crowd                   

      (B) A youth to Fortune and Fame unknown  

      (D) Full many a flower is born to blush unseen

      (D) All nature is but art, unknown to thee

  • Which poem begins with the line, “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day”?

(SET – 2012)

      (A) Collins’ ‘Ode to Evening                         

      (B) Collins’ ‘Ode on the Passions’

      (C) Gray’s ‘Elegy Written in a country churchyard’

      (D) Gray’s ‘On the Death of a Favourite Cat’

  • Thomas Gray in his Elegy says: “The paths of glory lead but to the grave” because of the impermanence of ___________  (DIET – 2009)

      (A) The boast of heraldry                               (B) The pomp of power

      (C) All that beauty                                          (D) All of these

  • The poet was grief-stricken by the deaths his friend Richard West, his aunt Mary and an attack by highwaymen on friend his Horace Walpole, all of which led him to meditate deeply on death. What was the poem’s original title?

            (A) Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

            (B)  A Summer Evening Churchyard

            (C)  The Old Vicarage Grantchester

            (D) Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

  • What is the first line of the poem ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’?

            (A) Full many a gem of the purest ray serene

            (B)  The curfew tolls the knell of parting day

            (C) Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,

            (D) I wandered lonely as a cloud

  • In which magazine was the poem ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ first published in on 16 February 1751?

            (A) Blackwood’s Magazine                             (B) The Gentleman’s Magazine

            (C) The Quarterly Review                              (D) Magazine of Magazines

  • Who was the English poet who translated part of ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ into Latin?

            (A) Samuel Taylor Coleridge                          (B) Percy Bysshe Shelley

             (C) William Butler Yeats                                (D) Walt Whitman

  • What was used as the title of a book by Thomas Hardy from the poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”?

             (A) Far from the Madding Crowd                 (B) Kindred Spirit

            (C) The Power and the Glory                         (D) Celestial Fire

  • Who are three famous figures mentioned in the poem to illustrate the power and glory that fade?

            (A) Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh

            (B) Dickens, Thackeray, Emily Bronte

            (C) Wordsworth, Southey, Shelley

            (D) Hampden, Cromwell, Milton

  • What is the last line of the poem that formed part of the Epitaph section?

            (A) Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires

            (B) The bosom of his Father and his God

            (C) The paths of glory lead but to the grave

            (D) Or Flatt’ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

  • Why was the poet sitting in the churchyard in the growing darkness of the advancing evening?

(A) For the funeral of his dead friend, Richard West

(B) To think deep thoughts about death and the lives of the poor villagers

(C) To watch the owls fly around the church at night

(D) He lives there

  • Why does the poet think that the dead villagers don’t have fancy monuments over their graves?

(A) Their relatives didn’t care about them.

(B) Their religion didn’t condone fancy monuments.

(C) They aren’t really dead.

(D) Their relatives were too humble and poor to afford fancy monuments

  • What profession does the poet imagine for the dead villagers?

            (A) shopkeepers           (B) bakers                    (C) writers                   (D) farmers

  • How does the speaker imagine that he will be remembered after he dies?

            (A) as a king                                                    (B) as a nature lover  

            (C) as a great soldier                                      (D) as Oliver Cromwell

  • What is the meter of the poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard?

            (A) iambic tetrameter                                      (B) dactylic hexameter

            (C) trochaic trimester                                     (D) iambic pentameter

  • What is the stanza form of the poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard?

            (A) ballad meter          (B) quartets                 (C) heroic quatrains    (D) octaves

  • What is the figure of the speech used in the line: “The plowman homeward plods his weary way”?

            (A) Simile                                                        (B) Metaphor             

            (C) Metonymy                                                             (D) Transferred epithet

  • What sounds does the poet hear in the churchyard in the darkness of evening?

(A) Grass rustling between the tombstones and footsteps

(B) A lark singing and a wheelbarrow rolling

(C) The knell of the church bell and cows lowing

(D) A rooster crowing and children laughing

  • What is the bird that complains to the moon about its inconvenience?

            (A) Crow                     (B) Raven                    (C) Owl                       (D) Hawk

  • The reference to the “hoary-headed swain” in “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” suggests Gray’s desire for recognition from ___________

            (A) poets                      (B) the humble            (C) politicians             (D) the proud

  • The opening lines of the “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” are set at _______

            (A) twilight                  (B) daybreak               (C) midnight                (D) noon

  • According to Thomas Gray, the poor dead people wanted ___________

      (A) some memorial stones over their graves

      (B) some wanted rough lines of verse to be inscribed on the stones

      (C) some wanted some clumsy sculpture to adorn their graves

      (D) All the above

  • Who brought to an end Charles I’s tyrannical rule and the parliamentary form of government in England?

      (A) Richard Cromwell (B) Oliver Cromwell (C) Charles II             (D) James II

  • In the “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard,” Gray’s speaker stresses the ________

            (A) laziness of the rural poor                          (B) shallowness of family life

            (C) equalizing nature of death                        (D) generosity of land owners

  • A poem which is written in memory of the dead is called as ___________

      (A) Ballad                   (B) Elegy                     (C) Allegory                (D) Parody

  • Who wrote “No farther seek his merits to disclose, Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, (There they alike in trembling hope repose), The bosom of his Father and his God.”

      (A) William Collins     (B) Alexander Pope    (C) Ben Jonson           (D) Thomas Gray

  • “Full many a gem of purest ray serene, The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear”. In these lines ‘pure gems’ refers to ____________

      (A) renowned poets     (B) bravest soldiers     (C) greatest musicians (D) unseen heroes

  • Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is a dignified elegy in eloquent classical diction celebrating the graves of ___________

      (A) Monarchs of England                               (B) Poets buried in Westminster Abbey

      (C) Humble and unknown villagers                (D) Rich people at Stoke Poges

  • “For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn”. Here ‘blazing hearth’ refers to __________

      (A) fire place of cottage                                  (B) light by evil spirit

      (C) light of a star                                            (D) fire-side in the churchyard

  • Who refused to pay tax illegally levied by King Charles I?

      (A) Milton                   (B) Horace Walpole    (C) Dryden                  (D) Hampden

  • The poet reflects that perhaps in the neglected grave is laid the body of___________

      (A) a person who has full of celestial fire       (B) a person who ruled an empire

      (C) a person who has played a lyre                (D) All the above

5. Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in the Country Churchyard

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