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The Bridge of Sighs (By Thomas Hood) - Text

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One more unfortunate
Weary of breath
Rashly importunate
Gone to her death
Take her up tenderly
Lift her with care
Fashion'd so slenderly
Young, and so fair
Look at her garments
Clinging like cerements
Whilst the wave constantly
Drips from her clothing
Take her up instantly
Loving, not loathing
Touch her not scornfully
Think of her mournfully
Gently and humanly
Not of the stains of her
All that remains of her
Now is pure womanly
Make no deep scrutiny
Into her mutiny
Rash and undutiful
Past all dishonour
Death has left on her
Only the beautiful
Still, for all slips of hers
One of Eve's family
Wipe those poor lips of hers
Oozing so clammily
Loop up her tresses
Escaped from the comb
Her fair auburn tresses
Whilst wonderment guesses
Where was her home?
Who was her father?
Who was her mother?
Had she a sister?
Had she a brother?
Or was there a dearer one still
And a nearer one yet
Than all other?
Alas, for the rarity
Of Christian charity
Under the sun
O, it was pitiful
Near a whole city full
Home she had none
Sisterly, brotherly
Fatherly, motherly
Feelings had changed
Love, by harsh evidence
Thrown from its eminence
Even God's providence
Seeming estranged
Where the lamps quiver
So far in the river
With many a light
From window and casement
From garret to basement
She stood with amazement
Houseless by night
The bleak wind of March
Made her tremble and shiver
But not the dark arch
Or the black flowing river
Mad from life's history
Glad to death's mystery
Swift to be hurl'd
Anywhere, anywhere
Out of the world
In she plunged boldly
No matter how coldly
The rough river ran
Over the brink of it
Picture it, think of it
Dissolute man
Lave in it, drink of it
Then, if you can
Take her up tenderly
Lift her with care
Fashion'd so slenderly
Young, and so fair
Ere her limbs frigidly
Stiffen too rigidly
Decently, kindly
Smooth and compose them
And her eyes, close them
Staring so blindly
Dreadfully staring
Thro' muddy impurity
As when with the daring
Last look of despairing
Fix'd on futurity
Perishing gloomily
Spurr'd by contumely
Cold inhumanity
Burning insanity
Into her rest
Cross her hands humbly
As if praying dumbly
Over her breast
Owning her weakness
Her evil behaviour
And leaving with meekness
Her sins to her Saviour

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