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West Country Poets

MATHEW BRIDGES (fl. 1825-1848)

The author of the beautiful poem descriptive of Babbicombe, Torquay, from which the following extract is taken, was a well-known writer, and, most probably, not a native of Devon.  He was author of the 'History of the Roman Empire under Constantine the Great,' published in 1828, and many other works bearing upon ancient and modern history.  His chief poetical work is entitled 'Babbicombe; or, Visions of Memory with other Poems' (1841); he also wrote 'Jerusalem Regained, a Poem' (1825); 'Hymns of the Heart for the Use of Catholics' (1848), etc.  it is possible that he was the Mathew Bridges, the son of John Bridges of Maldon, Essex, who matriculated from Magdealen Hall, May 25, 1831, aged thirty, according to Foster's 'Alumni Oxonienses.'

BABBICOMBE [extract]

Hamlet of peace, - to me of all most sweet,
Where the choice charms of earth and ocean meet:
Fresh fragrant downs, whose breezes breathe and play,
Cliffs clothed with green, yet interspersed with gray;
A zigzag road for vulgar wheels too steep,
Where only lovers ever learn to leap;
The rocks so tall, and yet so full of flowers,
Cool, - but not cold in summer's sultry hours;
The slopes all lined with many a verdant grove
Down to the margin of the tranquil cove, -

Transcribed from:  Wright, W.H.K., (1896) West-Country Poets:  Their Lives and Works. London: Elliot Stock, pp.53.

Last updated 3 Jan 2012 - Brian Randell.

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