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Facts in Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

Facts Examples in Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard:

Text of the Poem

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"Some pious drops the closing eye requires;..."   (Text of the Poem)

Gray's speaker points out how the dead rely on the living to perform some necessary tasks. One example is the ceremonial placing of coins on the eyelids of the dead to keep them closed.

"Cromwell..."   (Text of the Poem)

Gray refers to Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658), a leader of the Parliamentary forces against King Charles I, and, later, Lord Protector of England during what is known as the Commonwealth Interregnum. Gray believed that Cromwell was guilty of a great deal of bloodshed, but here he is suggesting that there might be a "guiltless" Cromwell in the graveyard.

"Curfew..."   (Text of the Poem)

In country villages, the "curfew bell" was rung at the end of the working day, an English tradition that dates back to William the Conquerer (1028–1087), who required villagers to "rake up the fire" and "put out the lights" when the curfew bell sounded. The bell rang around bed-time, so roughly 8PM.

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