Poetry: Robert Bridges - Winter Nightfall - Nightingales - Bio data

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 18:49




WINTER NIGHTFALL

The day begins to droop,
— Its course is done:
But nothing tells the place
Of the setting sun.

The hazy darkness deepens,
And up the lane
You may hear, but cannot see,
The homing wain.

An engine pants and hums
In the farm hard by:
Its lowering smoke is lost
In the lowering sky.

The soaking branches drip,
And all night through
The dropping will not cease
In the avenue.

A tall man there in the house
Must keep his chair:
He knows he will never again
Breathe the spring air:

His heart is worn with work;
He is giddy and sick
If he rise to go as far
As the nearest rick:

He thinks of his morn of life,
His hale, strong years;
And braves as he may the night
Of darkness and tears.




NIGHTINGALES

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,
Among the flowers, which in that heavenly air
Bloom the year long!

Nay, barren are those mountains and spent the streams:
Our song is the voice of desire, that haunts our dreams,
A throe of the heart,
Whose pining visions dim, forbidden hopes profound,
No dying cadence nor long sigh can sound,
For all our art.

Alone, aloud in the raptured ear of men
We pour our dark nocturnal secret; and then,
As night is withdrawn
From these sweet-springing meads and bursting boughs of May,
Dream, while the innumerable choir of day
Welcome the dawn.




Robert Seymour Bridges, OM, (23 October 1844 – 21 April 1930) was a British poet, and poet laureate from 1913 to 1930.


Personal and professional life

Bridges was born in Walmer, Kent, in the UK, and educated at Eton College and Corpus Christi College, Oxford.[1] He went on to study medicine in London at St Bartholomew's Hospital, intending to practise until the age of forty and then retire to write poetry.

He practised as a casualty physician at his teaching hospital (where he made a series of highly critical remarks about the Victorian medical establishment) and subsequently as a full physician to the Great (later Royal) Northern Hospital. He was also a physician to the Hospital for Sick Children.

Lung disease forced him to retire in 1882, and from that point on he devoted himself to writing and literary research. However, Bridges' literary work started long before his retirement, his first collection of poems having been published in 1873. In 1884 he married Monica Waterhouse, daughter of Alfred Waterhouse R.A., and spent the rest of his life in rural seclusion, first at Yattendon, Berkshire, then at Boars Hill, Oxford, where he died.

He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1900. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1913, the only medical graduate to have held the office.

He was the father of poet Elizabeth Daryush.


Literary work

As a poet Bridges stands rather apart from the current of modern English verse, but his work has had great influence in a select circle, by its restraint, purity, precision, and delicacy yet strength of expression. It embodies a distinct theory of prosody. Bridge's faith underpinned much of his work.[2]

In the book Milton's Prosody, he took an empirical approach to examining Milton's use of blank verse, and developed the controversial theory that Milton's practice was essentially syllabic. He considered free verse to be too limiting, and explained his position in the essay "Humdrum and Harum-Scarum". His own efforts to "free" verse resulted in the poems he called "Neo-Miltonic Syllabics", which were collected in New Verse (1925). The metre of these poems was based on syllables rather than accents, and he used the principle again in the long philosophical poem The Testament of Beauty (1929), for which he received the Order of Merit. His best-known poems, however, are to be found in the two earlier volumes of Shorter Poems (1890, 1894). He also wrote verse plays, with limited success, and literary criticism, including a study of the work of John Keats.

Bridges' poetry was privately printed in the first instance, and was slow in making its way beyond a comparatively small circle of his admirers. His best work is to be found in his Shorter Poems (1890), and a complete edition (to date) of his Poetical Works (6 vols.) was published in 1898-1905.

Despite being made poet laureate in 1913, Bridges was never a very well known poet and only achieved his great popularity shortly before his death with The Testament of Beauty. However, his verse evoked response in many great British composers of the time. Among those to set his poems to music were Hubert Parry, Gustav Holst, and later Gerald Finzi.[3]

At Oxford, Bridges became friends with Gerard Manley Hopkins, who is now considered a superior poet but who owes his present fame to Bridges' efforts in arranging the posthumous publication (1918) of his verse.

One of Abercrombie's early projects during this period was to advise Robert Bridges, the Poet Laureate, on the reformed spelling system he was devising for the publication of his collected essays (later published in seven volumes by Oxford University Press, with the help of the distinguished typographer Stanley Morison, who designed the new letters). Thus Robert Bridges has contributed to phonetics and he was also a founder member of Society for Pure English.[4]
Hymnody

Bridges made an important contribution to hymnody with the publication in 1899 of his Yattendon Hymnal, which he created specifically for musical reasons. This collection of hymns, although not a financial success, became a bridge between the Victorian hymnody of the last half of the 19th century and the modern hymnody of the early 20th century.

Bridges wrote and also translated historic hymns, and many of these were included in Songs of Syon (1904) and the later English Hymnal (1906).

Several of Bridges' hymns and translations are still in use today:

    "Thee will I love, my God and King"
    "Happy are they that love God"
    "Rejoice, O land, in God thy might"
        The Baptist Hymn Book, University Press,Oxford 1962
    "Ah, Holy Jesus" (Johann Heermann, 1630)
    "All My Hope on God Is Founded" (Joachim Neander, c. 1680)
    "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (Martin Jahn, 1661)
    "O Gladsome Light" (Phos Hilaron)
    "O Sacred Head, sore wounded" (Paulus Gerhardt, 1656)
    "O Splendour of God's Glory Bright" (Ambrose,4th cent.)
    "When morning gilds the skies" (stanza 3; Katholisches Gesangbuch, 1744)


Major works

    Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Robert Bridges

Dates given are of first publication and significant revisions.


Poetry collections

    The Growth of Love (1876; 1889; 1898), a sequence of (24; 79; 69) sonnets
    Prometheus the Firegiver: A Mask in the Greek Manner (1883)
    Eros and Psyche: A Narrative Poem in Twelve Measures (1885; 1894), a story from the Latin of Apuleius
    Shorter Poems, Books I - IV (1890)
    Shorter Poems, Books I - V (1894)
    New Poems (1899)
    Demeter: A Mask (1905), performed 1904
    Ibant Obscuri: An Experiment in the Classical Hexameter (1916), with reprint of summary of Stone's Prosody, accompanied by 'later observations & modifications'
    October and Other Poems (1920)
    The Tapestry: Poems (1925), in neo-Miltonic syllabics
    New Verse (1926), includes verse of The Tapestry
    The Testament of Beauty (1929)


Verse Drama

    Nero (1885), an historical tragedy; called The First Part of Nero subsequent to the publication of Nero: Part II
    The Feast of Bacchus (1889); partly translated from the Heauton-Timoroumenos of Terence
    Achilles in Scyros (1890), a drama in a mixed manner
    Palicio (1890), a romantic drama in five acts in the Elizabethan manner
    The Return of Ulysses (1890), a drama in five acts in a mixed manner
    The Christian Captives (1890), a tragedy in five acts in a mixed manner; on the same subject as Calderón's El Principe Constante
    The Humours of the Court (1893), a comedy in three acts; founded on Calderón's El secreto á voces and on Lope de Vega's El Perro del hortelano
    Nero, Part II (1894)

Prose

    Milton's Prosody, With a Chapter on Accentual Verse (1893; 1901; 1921), based on essays published in 1887 and 1889
    Keats (1895)
    Hymns from the Yattendon Hymnal (1899)
    The Spirit of Man (1916)
    Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (1918), edited with notes by R.B.
    The Necessity of Poetry (1918)
    Collected Essays, Papers, Etc. (1927–36)











Poetry: Robert Bridges - Winter Nightfall - Nightingales - Bio data





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