Original Text: 
Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Word Book (New York: Doubleday, 1906), p. 35. Republished as The Devil's Dictionary (New York: Dover, 1958). PS 1097 D4 1958 ROBA.
Elegy, n. A composition in verse, in which, without employing any of the methods of humor, the writer aims to produce in the reader's mind the dampest kind of dejection. The most famous English example begins somewhat like this:
2    The loafing herd winds slowly o'er the lea;
3The wise man homewards plods; I only stay
4    To fiddle-faddle in a minor key.


1] Bierce's deadpan parody of the opening of Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard". Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.