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Elegy: A Definition

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El´egy (Gr. elegos, mourning, song), a mournful and plaintive poem or funeral song, or any serious poem of a melancholy contemplative kind. In classic poetry what is known as elegiac verse is composed of couplets consisting of alternate hexameter and pentameter lines. In English we generally understand by elegies lyric poems which are laments over the dead, such as Milton's Lycidas, or Shelley's Adonais.

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