Elegy written in a country churchyard by Thomas Gray
The daylight is fading, and the darkness already starts to cover the world.
The flock sadly walk on the lawns, and everyone is coming back home.
Everything is so quiet, and so still. Except over there, where the flock are walking.
The sad owl sings to the moon and makes everyone who’s walking on his silent kingdom escape away.
Under those sad trees, under the cold ground, they all lie and sleep.
Noone will be able to wake them up: neither the swallow that sings far away, or the cock with its jolly call.
Noone will wait for them any longer, neither their wives or their children.
How they have worked around! How many days they have spent working this ground!
Their life was poor and simple. They had non ambition.
The desire of power, of wealth, of glory, only leads to the grave.
Can a crowd of people crying, can the promises of honour call them to life again, or smooth the cold ear of death?
Maybe once, where now there’s a tomb, there was a pure heart, full of fire, worth ruling a country.
But the ample pages of knowledge were closed to them and to their noble souls.
There are lots of flowers that bloom unseen.
Perhaps there was a Milton or a new Cromwell here and we don’t even know: their fates unfortunately forbade them both to become as famous as them, and to make their hands dirty of blood.
They always lived a simple and poor life. And their honesty and their secret value makes them famous and noble. From their ashes or the tears of their relatives we can feel they have lived.
Probably one day a pilgrim or someone from the village will come and will say: “I often saw him watching the sun or under these trees, and looking sadly at the view he meditated about his life. One day he went to the churchyard and read what there was written on a grave.”
Here he rests, a youth unknown to Fortune and Fame, marked by sadness. Great was his soul and Heaven gave him a friend.