Thomas Hardy


Reticulations creep upon the slack stream's face
When the wind skims irritably past,
The current clucks smartly into each hollow place
That years of flood have scrabbled in the pier's sodden base;
The floating-lily leaves rot fast.

On a roof stand the swallows ranged in wistful waiting rows,
Till they arrow off and drop like stones
Among the eyot-withies at whose foot the river flows;
And beneath the roof is she who in the dark world shows
As a lattice-gleam when midnight moans.

The footbridge over the River Stour at Sturminster Newton still stands. It is a beautiful spot, well-known in Dorset. There is a mill on the river nearby and just downstream is the famous old stone bridge of Sturminster.

Main Location:

Sturminster Footbridge

Other locations:

The footbridge over the River Stour at Sturminster Newton, Dorset

Image by Nigel Freeman, licensed under Creative Commons.

The Dorset poet and creator of "Hardy's Wessex", Thomas Hardy