21 Provocative Poems About Bridges

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Here are my favorite poems about bridges categorized:

  • Short poems about bridges
  • Poems about bridges and love
  • Poems about building bridges

So if you want the best poems about bridges, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started!

21 Best Poems About Bridges (Handpicked)

Provocative Poems About Bridges

Step into a poetic realm where bridges become more than mere structures; they embody the spirit of connection and transformation.

This curated collection features the most enchanting verses, celebrating the allure of bridges in concise and evocative short poems, while also immersing you in the beauty of poems that illuminate the art of building bridges between hearts and minds.

Discover the power of these enchanting poems, where the metaphorical bridges traverse the realms of human emotions, forging paths of unity, understanding, and endless possibilities.

Let’s get into it!

My #1 Favorite Poem About Bridges

Young beautiful redhead woman in a red dress sits on a stone bri

“The Red Bridge” by Skipwith Cannéll

The arches of the red bridge
Are stronger than ever:
The arches of the scarlet bridge
Are of rough, bleak stone.
(Why should such massive arches be the span
From cloud to tenuous cloud?)
Let us not seek omens in the guts
Of newly slain fowls;
Leaving such play to the children,
Let us pluck wild swans
From under the moon;
Or, challenging strong, terrible men,
Let us slay them and seek truth
In their smoking entrails.
Let us fling runners
Across the red bridge,
Deep-lunged runners who will return to us
With tidings of the far countries
And the strange seas!
There be many terrible men
Going out upon the bridge,
Through the little door
That is by the steps from the river.

Short Poems About Bridges

Young attractive Witch walking on the bridge in heavy black smoke.

“The Old Bridge at Florence” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Taddeo Gaddi built me. I am old,
Five centuries old. I plant my foot of stone
Upon the Arno, as St. Michael’s own
Was planted on the dragon. Fold by fold
Beneath me as it struggles, I behold
Its glistening scales. Twice hath it overthrown
My kindred and companions. Me alone
It moveth not, but is by me controlled.
I can remember when the Medici
Were driven from Florence; longer still ago
The final wars of Ghibelline and Guelf.
Florence adorns me with her jewelry;
And when I think that Michael Angelo
Hath leaned on me, I glory in myself.

“O’Connell Bridge (The Rocky Road To Dublin)” by James Stephens

In Dublin town the people see
Gorgeous clouds sail gorgeously,
They are finer, I declare,
Than the clouds of anywhere.

A swirl of blue and red and green,
A stream of blinding gold, a sheen
From silver hill and pearly ridge
Comes each evening on the bridge.

So when you walk in a field, look down,
Lest you tramp on a daisy’s crown,
But in a city look always high
And watch the beautiful clouds go by.

“Clark Street Bridge” by Carl Sandburg

Dust of the feet
And dust of the wheels,
Wagons and people going,
All day feet and wheels.

..Only stars and mist
A lonely policeman,
Two cabaret dancers,
Stars and mist again,
No more feet or wheels,
No more dust and wagons.
Voices of dollars
And drops of blood

Voices of broken hearts,
..Voices singing, singing,
..Silver voices, singing,
Softer than the stars,
Softer than the mist.

Snowfall in the nature at night

“Portobello Bridge (The Rocky Road To Dublin)” by James Stephens

Silver stars shine peacefully,
The Canal is silver, the
Poplars bear with modest grace
Gossamers of silver lace,
And the turf bank wears with glee
Black and silver filigree.

“Brooklyn Bridge” by Lola Ridge

Pythoness body – arching
Over the night like an ecstasy –
I feel your coils tightening…
And the world’s lessening breath.

From “Horatius at the Bridge.” by Mary E. Burt

“Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,
With all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me,
Will hold the foe in play.
In yon straight path a thousand
May well be stopped by three.
Now who will stand on either hand,
And keep the bridge with me?”

Then out spake Spurius Lartius—
A Ramnian proud was he—
I will stand at thy right hand,
And keep the bridge with thee.”
And out spake strong Herminius—
Of Titian blood was he—
“I will abide on thy left side,
And keep the bridge with thee.”

A stylish bride in a black wedding dress and a red hat poses at night in the old town of Zurich. Switzerland

“The Bridge of Alcantara” by William Julius Mickle

Oft as at pensive eve I pass the brook
Where Lisboa’s Maro, old and suppliant stood,
Fancy his injured eld and sorrows rude
Brought to my view. ’T was night; with cheerless look
Methought he bowed the head in languid mood,
As pale with penury in darkling nook
Forlorn he watched. Sudden the skies partook
A mantling blaze, and warlike forms intrude.
Here Gama’s semblance braves the boiling main,
And Lusitania’s warriors hurl the spear;
But whence that flood of light that bids them rear
Their lofty brows! From thy neglected strain,
Camoens, unseen by vulgar eye it flows,
That glorious blaze to thee thy thankless country owes.

Poems About Bridges and Love

Atmospheric outdoor portrait of sensual young woman wearing elegant dress sitting under the bridge of river.

“Sitting On The Bridge” by Thomas Hardy

Sitting on the bridge
Past the barracks, town and ridge,
At once the spirit seized us
To sing a song that pleased us –
As “The Fifth” were much in rumour;
It was “Whilst I’m in the humour,
Take me, Paddy, will you now?”
And a lancer soon drew nigh,
And his Royal Irish eye
Said, “Willing, faith, am I,
O, to take you anyhow, dears,
To take you anyhow.”

But, lo! – dad walking by,
Cried, “What, you lightheels! Fie!
Is this the way you roam
And mock the sunset gleam?”
And he marched us straightway home,
Though we said, “We are only, daddy,
Singing, ‘Will you take me, Paddy?'”

Well, we never saw from then
If we sang there anywhen,
The soldier dear again,
Except at night in dream-time,
Except at night in dream.

Perhaps that soldier’s fighting
In a land that’s far away,
Or he may be idly plighting
Some foreign hussy gay;
Or perhaps his bones are whiting
In the wind to their decay! . . .
Ah! – does he mind him how
The girls he saw that day
On the bridge, were sitting singing
At the time of curfew-ringing,
“Take me, Paddy; will you now, dear?
Paddy, will you now?”

“The Rainbow Bridge.” by Samuel Griswold Goodrich

Love and Hope and Youth, together
Travelling once in stormy weather,
Met a deep and gloomy tide,
Flowing swift and dark and wide.
‘Twas named the river of Despair,
And many a wreck was floating there!
The urchins paused, with faces grave,
Debating how to cross the wave,
When lo! the curtain of the storm
Was severed, and the rainbow’s form
Stood against the parting cloud
Emblem of peace on trouble’s shroud!
Hope pointed to the signal flying,
And the three, their shoulders plying,
O’er the stream the light arch threw
A rainbow bridge of loveliest hue!
Now, laughing as they tripped it o’er,
They gayly sought the other shore:
But soon the hills began to frown,
And the bright sun went darkly down.
Though their step was light and fleet,
The rainbow vanished ‘neath their feet,
And down they went, the giddy things!
But Hope put forth his ready wings,
And clinging Love and Youth he bore
In triumph to the other shore.
But ne’er I ween should mortals deem
On rainbow bridge to cross a stream,
Unless bright, buoyant Hope is nigh,
And, light with Love and Youth, they fly!

“By The Bridge by the Tay” by Theodor Fontane

“When shall we three meet again?”
“The dam of the bridge at seven attain!”
“By the pier in the middle. I’ll put out amain
The flames.”
“I too.”
“I’ll come from the north.”
“And I from the south.”
“From the sea I’ll soar forth.”
“Ha, that will be a merry-go-round!
The bridge must sink into the ground.”
“And with the train what shall we do
That crosses the bridge at seven?”
“That too.”
“That must go too!”
“A bauble, a naught,
What the hand of man hath wrought!”
The bridgekeeper’s house that stands in the north—
All windows to the south look forth,
And the inmates there without peace or rest
Are gazing southward with anxious zest.
They gaze and wait a light to spy
That over the water “I’m coming!” should cry,
“I’m coming—night and storm are vain—
I, from Edinburg the train!”
And the bridgekeeper says: “I see a gleam
On the other shore. That’s it, I deem.
Now, mother, away with bad dreams, for, see,
Our Johnnie is coming!—He’l want his tree.
And what is left of candles, light
As if it were on Christmas night!
Twice we shall have our Christmas cheer—
In eleven minutes he must be here.”
It is the train, with the gale it vies
And panting by the south tower flies.
“There’s the bridge still,” says Johnnie. “But that’s all right:
We’ll make it surely out of spite!
A solid boiler and double steam
Should win in such a fight, ’twould seem!
Let it rave and rage and run at its bent—
We’ll put it down: this element!
And our bridge is our pride. I must laugh always
When I think back of the olden days,
And all the trouble and misery
That with the old boat used to be.
And many cheerful Christmas nights
I spent at the ferryman’s house—the lights
From our windows I’d watch and count them o’er,
And could not reach the other shore.”
The bridgekeeper’s house that stands in the north—
All windows to the south look forth,
And the inmates there without peace or rest
Are gazing southward with anxious zest:
More furious grew the wind’s wild games,
And now, as if the sky poured flames,
Comes shooting down a radiance bright
O’er the water below.—Then all is night.
“When shall we three meet again?”
“At midnight the top of the mountain attain!”
“By the alder-stem on the high moorland plain!”
“I’ll come.”
“And I too.”
“And the number I’ll tell.”
“And I the names.”
“I the torture right well.”
“Like splinters the woodwork crashed in two.”
“A bauble—a naught.
What the hand of man hath wrought!”

woman on a bridge looking at cosmic background

“The Bridge” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I stood on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour,
And the moon rose o’er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.

I saw her bright reflection
In the waters under me,
Like a golden goblet falling
And sinking into the sea.

And far in the hazy distance
Of that lovely night in June,
The blaze of the flaming furnace
Gleamed redder than the moon.

Among the long, black rafters
The wavering shadows lay,
And the current that came from the ocean
Seemed to lift and bear them away;

As, sweeping and eddying through them,
Rose the belated tide,
And, streaming into the moonlight,
The seaweed floated wide.

And like those waters rushing
Among the wooden piers,
A flood of thoughts came o’er me
That filled my eyes with tears.

How often, oh, how often,
In the days that had gone by,
I had stood on that bridge at midnight
And gazed on that wave and sky!

How often, oh, how often,
I had wished that the ebbing tide
Would bear me away on its bosom
O’er the ocean wild and wide!

For my heart was hot and restless,
And my life was full of care,
And the burden laid upon me
Seemed greater than I could bear.

But now it has fallen from me,
It is buried in the sea;
And only the sorrow of others
Throws its shadow over me.

Yet whenever I cross the river
On its bridge with wooden piers,
Like the odor of brine from the ocean
Comes the thought of other years.

And I think how many thousands
Of care-encumbered men,
Each bearing his burden of sorrow,
Have crossed the bridge since then.

I see the long procession
Still passing to and fro,
The young heart hot and restless,
And the old subdued and slow!

And forever and forever,
As long as the river flows,
As long as the heart has passions,
As long as life has woes;

The moon and its broken reflection
And its shadows shall appear,
As the symbol of love in heaven,
And its wavering image here.

“A Legend of Koesen Bridge” by George Browning

Long, long ago in Thüringen,
Upon the Saale’s shore
A shepherd loved a shepherdess:
His love was triéd sore;
For on the left bank he his flock
Did tend, while on the right
Was hers,—but yet across the stream
Their true love they did plight.
One day Count Rudolph riding by,
It pleased him to command
His vassals here to build a bridge
For his Thüringen land.
Soon was the work begun, huge stones
Were lowered in the stream,
And the shepherd lad he danced to think
Fulfilled might be his dream.
Though in the building of the bridge
Full many a year had flown,
The love of that true, loving pair
Had but intenser grown.
At length the road across the stream
Was free; to yonder side
The shepherd drove his little flock,
There to embrace his bride.
The shepherdess was eager too
To meet her own true, love,
So towards the new-built bridge her flock
She with a full heart drove,—
And on the bridge these lovers met,
They vowed they ne’er would part,—
To seal their love then each one carved
Upon the brink a heart.
Those lovers ’twain were soon relieved
Of separation’s woe,
And their two flocks from that day forth,
Together grazed below.
E’en to this day those hearts remain
Carved there,—do not forget
In passing o’er the bridge to look—
’T is where those lovers met!

“The Wishing Bridge” by John Greenleaf Whittier

Among the legends sung or said
Along our rocky shore,
The Wishing Bridge of Marblehead
May well be sung once more.

An hundred years ago (so ran
The old-time story) all
Good wishes said above its span
Would, soon or late, befall.

If pure and earnest, never failed
The prayers of man or maid
For him who on the deep sea sailed,
For her at home who stayed.

Once thither came two girls from school,
And wished in childish glee
And one would be a queen and rule,
And one the world would see.

Time passed; with change of hopes and fears,
And in the self-same place,
Two women, gray with middle years,
Stood, wondering, face to face.

With wakened memories, as they met,
They queried what had been
“A poor man’s wife am I, and yet,”
Said one, “I am a queen.

“My realm a little homestead is,
Where, lacking crown and throne,
I rule by loving services
And patient toil alone.”

The other said: “The great world lies
Beyond me as it lay;
O’er love’s and duty’s boundaries
My feet may never stray.

“I see but common sights of home,
Its common sounds I hear,
My widowed mother’s sick-bed room
Sufficeth for my sphere.

“I read to her some pleasant page
Of travel far and wide,
And in a dreamy pilgrimage
We wander side by side.

“And when, at last, she falls asleep,
My book becomes to me
A magic glass: my watch I keep,
But all the world I see.

“A farm-wife queen your place you fill,
While fancy’s privilege
Is mine to walk the earth at will,
Thanks to the Wishing Bridge.”

“Nay, leave the legend for the truth,”
The other cried, “and say
God gives the wishes of our youth,
But in His own best way!

A woman in a long dress walks near the forest old bridge over the river

“The Bridge Of Lodi” by Thomas Hardy


When of tender mind and body
I was moved by minstrelsy,
And that strain “The Bridge of Lodi”
Brought a strange delight to me.


In the battle-breathing jingle
Of its forward-footing tune
I could see the armies mingle,
And the columns cleft and hewn


On that far-famed spot by Lodi
Where Napoleon clove his way
To his fame, when like a god he
Bent the nations to his sway.


Hence the tune came capering to me
While I traced the Rhone and Po;
Nor could Milan’s Marvel woo me
From the spot englamoured so.


And to-day, sunlit and smiling,
Here I stand upon the scene,
With its saffron walls, dun tiling,
And its meads of maiden green,


Even as when the trackway thundered
With the charge of grenadiers,
And the blood of forty hundred
Splashed its parapets and piers . . .


Any ancient crone I’d toady
Like a lass in young-eyed prime,
Could she tell some tale of Lodi
At that moving mighty time.


So, I ask the wives of Lodi
For traditions of that day;
But alas! not anybody
Seems to know of such a fray.


And they heed but transitory
Marketings in cheese and meat,
Till I judge that Lodi’s story
Is extinct in Lodi’s street.


Yet while here and there they thrid them
In their zest to sell and buy,
Let me sit me down amid them
And behold those thousands die . . .


—Not a creature cares in Lodi
How Napoleon swept each arch,
Or where up and downward trod he,
Or for his memorial March!


So that wherefore should I be here,
Watching Adda lip the lea,
When the whole romance to see here
Is the dream I bring with me?


And why sing “The Bridge of Lodi”
As I sit thereon and swing,
When none shows by smile or nod he
Guesses why or what I sing? . . .


Since all Lodi, low and head ones,
Seem to pass that story by,
It may be the Lodi-bred ones
Rate it truly, and not I.


Once engrossing Bridge of Lodi,
Is thy claim to glory gone?
Must I pipe a palinody,
Or be silent thereupon?


And if here, from strand to steeple,
Be no stone to fame the fight,
Must I say the Lodi people
Are but viewing crime aright?


Nay; I’ll sing “The Bridge of Lodi”—
That long-loved, romantic thing,
Though none show by smile or nod he
Guesses why and what I sing!

“The Bridge” by James Thomson

‘O, what are you waiting for here, young man?
What are you looking for over the bridge?’
A little straw hat with the streaming blue ribbons
Is soon to come dancing over the bridge.
Her heart beats the measure that keeps her feet dancing,
Dancing along like a wave o’ the sea;
Her heart pours the sunshine with which her eyes glancing
Light up strange faces in looking for me.
The strange faces brighten in meeting her glances;
The strangers all bless her, pure, lovely, and free:
She fancies she walks, but her walk skips and dances,
Her heart makes such music in coming to me.
O, thousands and thousands of happy young maidens
Are tripping this morning their sweethearts to see;
But none whose heart beats to a sweeter love-cadence
Than hers who will brighten the sunshine for me.
‘O, what are you waiting for here, young man?
What are you looking for over the bridge?’
A little straw hat with the streaming blue ribbons;
—And here it comes dancing over the bridge!

Poems About Building Bridges

Asian woman walks on a blue bridge in Suncheonman Bay National G

“The Bridge Of Cloud” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Burn, O evening hearth, and waken
Pleasant visions, as of old!
Though the house by winds be shaken,
Safe I keep this room of gold!

Ah, no longer wizard Fancy
Builds her castles in the air,
Luring me by necromancy
Up the never-ending stair!

But, instead, she builds me bridges
Over many a dark ravine,
Where beneath the gusty ridges
Cataracts dash and roar unseen.

And I cross them, little heeding
Blast of wind or torrent’s roar,
As I follow the receding
Footsteps that have gone before.

Naught avails the imploring gesture,
Naught avails the cry of pain!
When I touch the flying vesture,
‘T is the gray robe of the rain.

Baffled I return, and, leaning
O’er the parapets of cloud,
Watch the mist that intervening
Wraps the valley in its shroud.

And the sounds of life ascending
Faintly, vaguely, meet the ear,
Murmur of bells and voices blending
With the rush of waters near.

Well I know what there lies hidden,
Every tower and town and farm,
And again the land forbidden
Reassumes its vanished charm.

Well I know the secret places,
And the nests in hedge and tree;
At what doors are friendly faces,
In what hearts are thoughts of me.

Through the mist and darkness sinking,
Blown by wind and beaten by shower,
Down I fling the thought I’m thinking,
Down I toss this Alpine flower.

“For Four Guilds: II. The Bridge-Builders” by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

In the world’s whitest morning
As hoary with hope,
The Builder of Bridges
Was priest and was pope:
And the mitre of mystery
And the canopy his,
Who darkened the chasms
And domed the abyss.

To eastward and westward
Spread wings at his word
The arch with the key-stone
That stoops like a bird;
That rides the wild air
And the daylight cast under;
The highway of danger,
The gateway of wonder.

Of his throne were the thunders
That rivet and fix
Wild weddings of strangers
That meet and not mix;
The town and the cornland;
The bride and the groom:
In the breaking of bridges
Is treason and doom.

But he bade us, who fashion
The road that can fly,
That we build not too heavy
And build not too high:
Seeing alway that under
The dark arch’s bend
Shine death and white daylight
Unchanged to the end.

Who walk on his mercy
Walk light, as he saith,
Seeing that our life
Is a bridge above death;
And the world and its gardens
And hills, as ye heard,
Are born above space
On the wings of a bird.

Not high and not heavy
Is building of his:
When ye seal up the flood
And forget the abyss,
When your towers are uplifted,
Your banners unfurled,
In the breaking of bridges
Is the end of the world.

“London Bridge” by Walter Crane

London Bridge is broken down,
Dance over my Ladye Lea;
London Bridge is broken down:
With a gay ladye.

How shall we build it up again?
Dance over my Ladye Lea;
How shall we build it up again?
With a gay ladye.

Silver and gold will be stole away,
Dance over my Ladye Lea;
Silver and gold will be stole away:
With a gay ladye.

Iron and steel will bend and bow,
Dance over my Ladye Lea;
Iron and steel will bend and bow:
With a gay ladye.

Wood and clay will wash away,
Dance over my Ladye Lea;
Wood and clay will wash away:
With a gay ladye.

Build it up with stone so strong,
Dance over my Ladye Lea;
Huzza! ’twill last for ages long.
With a gay ladye.

woman warrior in a medieval, fantasy costume, with weapons walking old Park, stone bridge in the winter. Winter is coming.

“The Devil’s Bridge” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This bridge is called the Devil’s Bridge.
With a single arch, from ridge to ridge,
It leaps across the terrible chasm
Yawning beneath us, black and deep,
As if, in some convulsive spasm,
The summits of the hills had cracked,
And made a road for the cataract
That raves and rages down the steep!

LUCIFER, under the bridge.
Ha! ha!

Never any bridge but this
Could stand across the wild abyss;
All the rest, of wood or stone,
By the Devil’s hand were overthrown.
He toppled crags from the precipice,
And whatsoe’er was built by day
In the night was swept away;
None could stand but this alone.

LUCIFER, under the bridge.
Ha! ha!

I showed you in the valley a bowlder
Marked with the imprint of his shoulder;
As he was bearing it up this way,
A peasant, passing, cried, “Herr Jé!”
And the Devil dropped it in his fright
And vanished suddenly out of sight!

LUCIFER, under the bridge.
Ha! ha!

Abbot Giraldus of Einsiedel,
For pilgrims on their way to Rome,
Built this at last, with a single arch,
Under which, on its endless march,
Runs the river, white with foam,
Like a thread through the eye of a needle
And the Devil promised to let it stand,
Under compact and condition
That the first living thing which crossed
Should be surrendered into his hand,
And be beyond redemption lost.

LUCIFER, under the bridge.
Ha! ha! perdition!

At length, the bridge being all completed,
The Abbot, standing at its head,
Threw across it a loaf of bread,
Which a hungry dog sprang after,
And the rocks reëchoed with the peals of laughter
To see the Devil thus defeated!
They pass on.

LUCIFER, under the bridge.
Ha! ha! defeated!
For journeys and for crimes like this
I let the bridge stand o’er the abyss!”

From “A Covered Bridge at Lucerne” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

God’s blessing on the architects who build
The bridges o’er swift rivers and abysses
Before impassable to human feet,
No less than on the builders of cathedrals,
Whose massive walls are bridges thrown across
The dark and terrible abyss of Death.
Well has the name of Pontifex been given
Unto the Church’s head, as the chief builder
And architect of the invisible bridge
That leads from earth to heaven.