London: George Bell and Sons, 1884. 12mo. [iv], 66,  pp. FIRST TRADE EDITION. Original two-tone cloth, title in gilt on spine, covers worn; title and verso of colophon browned, some light spotting to end-papers, top edges gilt, uncut. Item #12021
First trade edition, which follows the privately printed edition of 1883.
Although Bridges’ (1844-1930) first collection of poems was published in 1873, he practiced medicine up until 1882, when he was able to devote his full time to poetry. He married in 1884 and spent the rest of his life in rural seclusion until his death at Oxford in 1930. An excellent metrist, he wrote many beautiful lyrics and longer poems. In 1913 he was named England’s poet laureate. A year before his death, he published The testament of beauty, a philosophical poem on the evolution of the human soul; it achieved immediate popularity and is considered his greatest work.