(On the 20th anniversary of the burning of the old Troy-Waterford bridge)
BY LUCY H. BATT.
Written for The Troy Time.
Many will recollect, I think
Standing one day on fair Hudson's brink,
Watching tongues of remorseless flame
Destroy our bridge of early fame,
Which had stood for a century and more
In fact since eighteen hundred four
As public servant true and sincere
Linking Saratoga to Rensselaer
While o'er the portals at either end
In terms of most explicit trend
Appeared a crudely-lettered sign
Stating price of fare and cause for fine
Throughout the years it spanned the tide,
The counties' boast, our village pride,
Beneath a governance divine
Had been preserved both bridge and sign.
While some among the many may
Remember twenty years today:
A cry rang over plain and ridge,
A frantic cry—"The Bridge! The Bridge!"
Time from memory can ne'er erase
That picture of heroic grace,
No power of art can portray clear
The imprint deepening year by year;
The fiery flame, the bridge so strong
Seemed adamant in its dying song,
And from its height and breadth and length
Vainly it sought to gather strength
An ancient warrior never stood
More stoic than this bridge of wood,
Refusing to dissolve one link,
A seething mass from brink to brink
Of solid embers all aglow,
Hissing at the opposing foe,
The roll of smoke, the scarlet gleam,
Reflected on the gliding stream;
The welcoming river with all its charms
Beckoned assurance with motherly arms,
Each conquered link though loath to yield,
A blaze of splendor here revealed,
Till urged by confidence and love
The weakened unit began to move
Whole as the sun when it sinks to rest,
It sank beneath the river's crest
There where the silvery current sweeps
Our famous bridge forever sleeps.
Waterford, July 10, 1929.
Troy Times. July 10, 1929: 6 col 1.