Explanation on the lines: "Full many a gem...sweetness on the desert air" from the poem "Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray

Essay by ZAKI January 2004

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This is the purple passage of the meditative poem "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray which is one of the five greatest elegies in English literature.

Here with his literary gesture Thomas Gray informs us that the world is the vast source which comprises uncountable treasures in her womb. We can gain a very little bit of them. But the lion share is lying scattered in the ocean and in the places where men can never go or exist. Also there are innumerable magnificent and glittering gems and pearls spread in the dark caves at the bottom of the sea. But neither it can be not awarded of nor can be discovered by any pearl-diver. Hence its value and beauty decay on the lap of the sea. From Bishop Joseph Hall, Mitford quotes:

"There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl laid up in the bosom of the sea that never was seen or never shall be".

Again, there are exquisitely beautiful flowers blooming on the desert island with their mind touching fragrance. Though they blushes thinking their beauty will charm the weary passers by, soon their wild beauty and fragrance shrink and they squeeze decay. For, there is none to enjoy their beauty and fragrance.

At the same manner, the poor forefathers who lie buried in the village churchyard of Stoke Poges were very industrious as well as vigorous and such simple and kind hearted as close to the soil. But such kind of purity, humbleness, simplicity and hard labor couldn't relieve them from their destiny. But Gray implies here that those people who bear such kind of intellect and mental spirit as well as courage and morality, serve the world with their...