BRIDGES, ROBERT (1844-1930)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS POEM 'THE BRITISH WOUNDED', 26 lines in three irregular stanzas, with one anticipation deleted, concluded with two words (which in Croft Bridges called 'signed') in Greek (from the Gospel of St. Mark ix. 45, which in full is given in the Authorised Version as 'it is better for thee to enter halt into life'), 1 page, quarto, not dated
Fool that I was! my heart was sore,
Yea, sick for the myriad wounded men,
The maim'd in the war: I had grief for each one;
And I came in the gay September sun
To the open smile of Trafalgar Square,
Where many a lad with a limb fordone
Loll'd by the lion guarded column
That holdeth Nelson statued thereon
Upright in the air...
Croft illustrates another manuscript of this poem in the same style of Bridges's handwriting as the present one. The poem was first published in the Times on 8 October 1917 and in October and Other Poems, 1920. Only one poem by Bridges has been sold at auction in the last forty years at least.
REFERENCE: P.J. Croft, Autograph Poetry in the English Language, 2 volumes, 1973.