‘So sweet love seemed that April morn’ by Robert Bridges

Robert Seymour Bridges was a British poet and the Poet Laureate of the UK from 1913 to 1930. Originally a doctor, he had to abandon his medical practice due to poor health. He spent most of his life in rural Berkshire near Oxford, dedicated to writing and literary studies.

Robert S. Bridges (1844–1930)

The poem featured in this post is a nostalgic look at young love and its sweetness, but also at how love changes and fades over time, as one grows older. There’s definitely a tinge of sadness in these verses, yet the poet is ‘bathed in joy complete’ as he looks back. The love may be gone, but the pleasant memory of it remains.

So sweet love seemed that April morn,
When first we kissed beside the thorn,
So strangely sweet, it was not strange
We thought that love could never change.

But I can tell—let truth be told—
That love will change in growing old;
Though day by day is naught to see,
So delicate his motions be.

And in the end 'twill come to pass
Quite to forget what once he was,
Nor even in fancy to recall
The pleasure that was all in all.

His little spring, that sweet we found,
So deep in summer floods is drowned,
I wonder, bathed in joy complete,
How love so young could be so sweet.


Find the words in the poem with the following meaning:

  • movements (noun)
  • an overflow of water (noun)
  • imagination, fantasy (noun)
  • nothing (pronoun)
  • a woody shrub (noun)
  • very fine; fragile (adjective)
  • remember (verb)

To check your answers, click here.


Poetical Works of Robert Bridges – free ebook available from Project Gutenberg

Robert Bridges – portraits in the National Portrait Gallery collections

Robert Bridges – Wikipedia entry

Cover image: ‘Amour’ by Henri Jean Guillaume Martin (1860–1943)

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