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Elegy's Elegy

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Byron's elegies tell, they don't show. They scream their emotions from the rooftops! 

"O snatch'd away in beauty's bloom!

On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;

But on thy turf shall roses rear

Their leaves, the earliest of the year,

And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom...."  

And, of course, there is the masterpiece of English poetic music, Tennyson's "In Memoriam".  

"Dark house, by which once more I stand

Here in the long unlovely street,

Doors, where my heart was used to beat

So quickly, waiting for a hand...."                         

In these lines, we can feel the anguish of the poet at the death of his very intimate friend, Arthur Hallam. How many of us would not write poetry like this for those we have loved and are no more, if only we had the talent to match our grief?  

And anyone in Bangladesh who visits a graveyard will easily understand what Thomas Gray meant when he wrote his "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard". In the western world, a churchyard was once capable of inspiring deep contemplation on the mutability of earthly things, the value of human affection that must ultimately be frustrated by the grave. And which, nevertheless, lasts beyond the grave. 

"On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires;

E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,

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Iftekhar Sayeed teaches English and economics. He was born and lives in Dhaka, "ŽBangladesh. He has contributed to AXIS OF LOGIC, ENTER TEXT, POSTCOLONIAL "ŽTEXT, LEFT CURVE, MOBIUS, ERBACCE, THE JOURNAL, and other publications. "ŽHe is also a (more...)

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