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The Bridge of Lodi.

Written by: Thomas Hardy | Biography
 | Quotes (33) |
 I 

When of tender mind and body 
I was moved by minstrelsy, 
And that strain "The Bridge of Lodi" 
Brought a strange delight to me.
II In the battle-breathing jingle Of its forward-footing tune I could see the armies mingle, And the columns cleft and hewn III 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.
IV 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.
V And to-day, sunlit and smiling, Here I stand upon the scene, With its saffron walls, dun tiling, And its meads of maiden green, VI Even as when the trackway thundered With the charge of grenadiers, And the blood of forty hundred Splashed its parapets and piers .
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VII 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.
VIII So, I ask the wives of Lodi For traditions of that day; But alas! not anybody Seems to know of such a fray.
IX And they heed but transitory Marketings in cheese and meat, Till I judge that Lodi's story Is extinct in Lodi's street.
X 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 .
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XI - Not a creature cares in Lodi How Napoleon swept each arch, Or where up and downward trod he, Or for his memorial March! XII 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? XIII 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? .
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XIV 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.
XV Once engrossing Bridge of Lodi, Is thy claim to glory gone? Must I pipe a palinody, Or be silent thereupon? XVI 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? XVII 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!



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