'The souls of the righteous are in the hand of
|Robert Seymour Bridges' ashes are buried near
the family cross in the
churchyard of St Peter and St Paul's Church, Yattendon, Berkshire,
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)
|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.
|When men were all asleep
the snow came flying,
|In large white flakes
falling on the city brown,
perpetually settling and loosely lying,
|Hushing the latest
traffic of the drowsy town;
stifling its murmurs failing;
|Lazily and incessantly
floating down and down: