Robert Bridges


'The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God'


Robert Seymour Bridges' ashes are buried near the family cross in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yattendon, Berkshire, England. The cross was originally erected by Bridges in memory of his mother Harriet Elizabeth. There is also a memorial tablet to him inside the church.

Bridges practised medicine until his retirement on health grounds in 1881. While working as a young doctor at St. Bartholomews Hospital he once saw 30,940 patients in one year. After his marriage in 1884 he spent the rest of his life in rural seclusion in Yattendon and Boar's Hill.

While at Oxford University Bridges met, and became friends with, Gerard Manley Hopkins. Bridges later corresponded with Hopkins and was instrumental in publishing his complete works in 1918.

St Peter and St Paul Church Yattendon
(Bridges' family cross in foreground)

Robert Bridges

Along with Walter Raleigh and Henry Bradley, Bridges co-founded the Society for Pure English. 

Although Bridges was not a well-known poet, he became the Poet Laureate in 1913 after the death of Alfred Austin.

At the age of 85 Bridges achieved popularity with the publication of his long poem The Testament of Beauty. He is also remembered for his work on the Yattendon Hymnal. He was a chorister at Yattendon church for 18 years.

See also alexandrine.

When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:

London Snow (complete poem)






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