The Bridge of Lodi (Spring, 1887)


When of tender mind and body
  I was moved by minstrelsy,
And that strain "The Bridge of Lodi"
  Brought a strange delight to me.


In the battle-breathing jingle
  Of its forward-footing tune
I could see the armies mingle,
  And the columns cleft and hewn


On that far-famed spot by Lodi
  Where Napoleon clove his way
To his fame, when like a god he
  Bent the nations to his sway.


Hence the tune came capering to me
  While I traced the Rhone and Po;
Nor could Milan's Marvel woo me
  From the spot englamoured so.


And to-day, sunlit and smiling,
  Here I stand upon the scene,
With its saffron walls, dun tiling,
  And its meads of maiden green,


Even as when the trackway thundered
  With the charge of grenadiers,
And the blood of forty hundred
  Splashed its parapets and piers . . .


Any ancient crone I'd toady
  Like a lass in young-eyed prime,
Could she tell some tale of Lodi
  At that moving mighty time.


So, I ask the wives of Lodi
  For traditions of that day;
But alas! not anybody
  Seems to know of such a fray.


And they heed but transitory
  Marketings in cheese and meat,
Till I judge that Lodi's story
  Is extinct in Lodi's street.


Yet while here and there they thrid them
  In their zest to sell and buy,
Let me sit me down amid them
  And behold those thousands die . . .


- Not a creature cares in Lodi
  How Napoleon swept each arch,
Or where up and downward trod he,
  Or for his memorial March!


So that wherefore should I be here,
  Watching Adda lip the lea,
When the whole romance to see here
  Is the dream I bring with me?


And why sing "The Bridge of Lodi"
  As I sit thereon and swing,
When none shows by smile or nod he
  Guesses why or what I sing? . . .


Since all Lodi, low and head ones,
  Seem to pass that story by,
It may be the Lodi-bred ones
  Rate it truly, and not I.


Once engrossing Bridge of Lodi,
  Is thy claim to glory gone?
Must I pipe a palinody,
  Or be silent thereupon?


And if here, from strand to steeple,
  Be no stone to fame the fight,
Must I say the Lodi people
  Are but viewing crime aright?

Nay; I'll sing "The Bridge of Lodi" -
  That long-loved, romantic thing,
Though none show by smile or nod he
  Guesses why and what I sing!

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy, was a Scottish Minister, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and Professor of Eccesiastical History at Edinburgh University. more…

All Thomas Hardy poems | Thomas Hardy Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)


Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Український (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Discuss this Thomas Hardy poem with the community:


Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


"The Bridge of Lodi (Spring, 1887)" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 26 Feb. 2020. <,-1887)>.

We need you!

Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

Our favorite collection of

Famous Poets


Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.