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Collected Poems

The Old Bridge

page 204

The Old Bridge

Where the water-lilies
are thick on the stream
the old wooden bridge
joins brim to brim,
and scattered leaves
discoloured and sodden
lie where the countless
footsteps have trodden.

There's moss and lichen,
russet and green,
on the falling timbers;
and thick in between
the time-worn edges
of plank and plank
leaf mould and fungus
moist and dank.

"Though my timbers creak
and my beams wax old,
and I've only leaves
to keep out the cold,
yet many a traveller
who passed my way
fares ill and colder
this winter's day."