Re. Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

(cover by John Eyre, 1900 E.P. Dutton ed.)

Author of “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”, once considered the best-known poem in the English language. Took Gray 9 years to write. General Wolfe who won Quebec from the French in 1763 said just before entering the battle that “I would rather be the author of those lines than take Quebec.”

“The curfew tolls the knell of parting day…”

“The short and simple annals of the poor”

“The paths of glory lead but to the grave”

“Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire”

“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air”

“Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife”

“And melancholy marked him for her own”

As true and beautiful as ever over two centuries later. A great perspective and overview of life. The paths of Trump, celebrities, ordinary people, and the poor still lead but to the grave. The roles of chance and luck of various kinds in determining one’s life. The never-ending ongoing brevity of life in the great scheme of things, even today.

(from the 1883 ed. by Estes & Lauriat)


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