Elegies are very formal poems. Elegies tend to focus on mournful and melancholic subjects such as death. They are usually read at funerals as laments for the dead. Elegies don't have a specific structure and vary greatly. An elegy can be very long or very short, it can rhyme or it cannot, but the key feature of an elegy is that it commonly includes death..

Farewell to Innocence

by Mel Merrill

Read this if you have the time,
I'm compelled these words to write--
Seems my parent's age of innocence
Is drawing near, the light.

For the poetry and cinema,
And the songs like "Stardust," too--
Are turning to a memory
And fading from our view.

But it was an age of innocence!
I knew it as a boy.
Where has gone the happiness;
And how escaped the joy?

Still the golden age is dying
And it whispered with a breathe--
"Don't let us pass away in vain,
And die a common death."

So forgive me if I prattle on
But it seems the thing to do--
I placed flowers on the old today,
And will now endure, the new.

Farewell ole age of innocence,
My kind and gentle friend--
Till Buddy and the Teddy Bear
Take the stage and sing again!