graveyard school

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graveyard school,

18th-century school of English poets who wrote primarily about human mortality. Often set in a graveyard, their poems mused on the vicissitudes of life, the solitude of death and the grave, and the anguish of bereavement. Their air of pensive gloom presaged the melancholy of the romantic movement. The most famous graveyard poems were Robert Blair's The Grave (1743), Edward Young's nine-volume The Complaint, or Night Thoughts on Life, Death, and Immortality (1742–45), and Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" (1750).
References in periodicals archive ?
Felicity Rosslyn elaborates this, and suggests that the abandonment of Horace as a model of non-dogmatic moralism paved the way for the sentiment and sententiousness of Gray and the graveyard poets - a suggestion which deserves amplification.
It nonetheless reflects the general tendency of the graveyard poets to exploit sensibility and pathos.