Country Churchyard

A famous poem from the middle of the 18th century, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, surfaces in characters' thoughts three times in Ulysses. Bloom thinks of it in Hades in his typical fumbling way, getting both the title and the author slightly wrong, but his thoughts suggest some appreciation of the poem's content. In Eumaeus he alludes less astutely to one of the elegy's best-known lines, and in Cyclops John Wyse Nolan too recites one of the poem's lines.

JH 2021

Richard Bentley's frontispiece for the illustrated 1753 edition of Gray's poem. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

William Blake's 1797-98 pen and watercolor Design 113 for Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard, held in the Yale Center for British Art. Source: Wikimedia Commons.