Robert Seymour Bridges
Biography of Robert Seymour Bridges
Robert Seymour Bridges was an English poet noted for his technical mastery of prosody and for his sponsorship of the poetry of his friend Gerard Manley Hopkins. Born into a prosperous family, Bridges went to Eton College and then to Oxford, where he met Hopkins. His edition of Hopkins' poetry that appeared in 1916 rescued it from obscurity. From 1869 until 1882 Bridges worked as a medical student and physician in London hospitals. In 1884 he married Mary Monica Waterhouse, and he spent the rest of his life in virtually unbroken domestic seclusion, first at Yattendon, Berkshire, then at Boar's Hill, devoting himself almost religiously to poetry, contemplation, and the study of prosody. Although he published several long poems and poetic dramas, his reputation rests upon the lyrics collected in Shorter Poems (1890, 1894). New Verse (1925) contains experiments using a metre based on syllables rather than accents. He used this form for his long philosophical poem The Testament of Beauty, published on his 85th birthday. Bridges was poet laureate from 1913 until his death in 1930.
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Robert Seymour Bridges Poems
I Will Not Let Thee Go
I will not let thee go. Ends all our month-long love in this? Can it be summed up so, Quit in a single kiss?
When men were all asleep the snow came flying, In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Awake, My Heart
Awake, my heart, to be loved, awake, awake! The darkness silvers away, the morn doth break, It leaps in the sky: unrisen lustres slake
So Sweet Love Seemed That April Morn
So sweet love seemed that April morn, When first we kissed beside the thorn, So strangely sweet, it was not strange We thought that love could never change.
My Delight And Thy Delight
My delight and thy delight Walking, like two angels white, In the gardens of the night:
In Autumn Moonlight, When The White Air ...
In autumn moonlight, when the white air wan Is fragrant in the wake of summer hence, 'Tis sweet to sit entranced, and muse thereon In melancholy and godlike indolence:
From 'The Testament Of Beauty'
'Twas at that hour of beauty when the setting sun squandereth his cloudy bed with rosy hues, to flood his lov'd works as in turn he biddeth them Good-night; and all the towers and temples and mansions of men
Beautiful must be the mountains whence ye come, And bright in the fruitful valleys the streams, wherefrom Ye learn your song: Where are those starry woods? O might I wander there,
Whither, O splendid ship, thy white sails crowding, Leaning across the bosom of the urgent West, That fearest nor sea rising, nor sky clouding, Whither away, fair rover, and what thy quest?
The sickness of desire, that in dark days Looks on the imagination of despair, Forgetteth man, and stinteth God his praise; Nor but in sleep findeth a cure for care.
The south-wind strengthens to a gale, Across the moon the clouds fly fast, The house is smitten as with a flail, The chimney shudders to the blast.
When my love was away, Full three days were not sped, I caught my fancy astray Thinking if she were dead,
I have lain in the sun I have toil'd as I might, I have thought as I would, And now it is night.
I Have Loved Flowers That Fade
I have loved flowers that fade, Within whose magic tents Rich hues have marriage made With sweet unmemoried scents:
The Growth Of Love
They that in play can do the thing they would,
Having an instinct throned in reason's place,
--And every perfect action hath the grace
Of indolence or thoughtless hardihood--
These are the best: yet be there workmen good
Who lose in earnestness control of face,
Or reckon means, and rapt in effort base
Reach to their end by steps well understood.