This article argues that Robert Bloomfield’s seminal text The Farmer’s Boy is a much darker and more troubled poem than has been appreciated. Although recent criticism has begun to explore some of the poem’s ideological complexities, there is still a prevailing tendency to locate its imaginative resources and strengths in its depiction of a lost pastoral world of rural English labor. Haywood aims to break out of this pastoralist mold by reading the poem as a psycho-biographical allegory of Bloomfield’s unresolved feelings about separation, loss, social mobility, patronage, and success. By intensifying and magnifying the more violent conventions of the georgic, Bloomfield converts the poem into what John Barrell (writing about De Quincey) calls “narratives of trauma and narratives of reparation” (22). The pain, terror, and guilt of these “narratives” reflect not only Bloomfield’s troubled poetical formation but also capture the counter-revolutionary paranoia and repression of the late 1790s. Although Haywood's interpretation uses the text to speculate about Bloomfield’s memories of his early life, his conclusions are supported by copious illustrations and supportive evidence from Bloomfield’s letters.