Country Churchyard

Typically, Bloom gets a couple of things wrong when he thinks in Hades, "Eulogy in a country churchyard it ought to be that poem of whose is it Wordsworth or Thomas Campbell." The poem was written by Thomas Gray, and its title, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, perfectly suits Gray's intent: a eulogy is a praise of someone who has died, while an elegy is a more general meditative lament for the dead. Still, Bloom knows that his title is wrong ("it ought to be"), he knows this deservedly famous poem (not every high school-educated person does), and he shows some literary discernment in guessing that it may have been written by Wordsworth or Campbell. Some of Gray's thoughts chime with things he thinks in his own, more urban graveyard.

JH 2019

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.