23 October 1844–21 April 1930
ROBERT (SEYMOUR) BRIDGES, M.A., M.B., F.R.C.P. (Isle of Thanet, 1844–1930, Boar’s Hill, Oxford), son of a Kentish squire, was educated at Eton and Corpus Christi College, Oxford (Hon. Fellow). On leaving the University he travelled on the Continent and in the East, then studied medicine at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. On qualifying, he became casualty physician there, and physician at the Great Northern Hospital, and also carried on general practice. He gave up practice in 1882 and settled at Yattendon in Berkshire, and devoted himself to literature, in which he had already made his mark as a poet of unusual and highly distinctive gifts. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1913.
He was a scholar of great learning, both in ancient and modern letters, and a highly skilled and cultivated musician. His Eros and Psyche is dedicated to the celestial spirit of Henry Purcell, and in The Christian Captives he introduces the music of Anerio and Allegri. He wrote an oratorio, Eden, which Sir C.V. Stanford set to music. And his Yattendon Hymnal—issued in installments (words and music) of 40 pages, till the 100 hymns were completed in 1899—is, both in words and music, easily the most distinguished of individual pioneer contributions to modern hymnody.
by Percy Dearmer
Songs of Praise Discussed (1933)
Collections of Hymns & Poems:
The Growth of Love (1876): WorldCat
Prometheus the Firegiver: A Mask in the Greek Manner (1883): PDF
The Humours of the Court: A Comedy, and Other Poems (1893): WorldCat
Eros and Psyche: A Poem in Twelve Measures
Hymns: The Yattendon Hymnal (Hymns in Four Parts)
Shorter Poems: New Poems (1899): WorldCat
Demeter: A Mask (1905): PDF
Ibant Obscuri: An Experiment in the Classical Hexameter (1916): PDF
October and Other Poems (1920): PDF
The Tapestry: Poems (1925): WorldCat
New Verse (1926): HathiTrust
The Testament of Beauty (1929): PDF
Poetical Works, 1st ed.
The Poetical Works of Robert Bridges, 2nd ed. with The Testament of Beauty (1936): WorldCat
Robert Bridges, A Practical Discourse on Some Principles of Hymn-Singing (Oxford: B.H. Blackwell, 1901): PDF
Catherine Phillips, Robert Bridges: A Biography (Oxford: University Press, 1992): WorldCat
J.R. Watson, “Robert Bridges,” Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology:
Robert Bridges at Hymnary.org: