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The Letters of Robert Bloomfield and His Circle, Edited By Tim Fulford and Lynda Pratt
TEI

140. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Ann Bloomfield, 15–16 September 1804* 

Towcestor Sept 15th 1804

I rose, dear Mary, from the soundest rest
A wondering, wayward, musing, singing guest;
I claim the priviledge of hill and plain
The woods are mine, and all that they contain;
The unpoluted gale that sweeps the glade,
All the cool blessings of the solemn shade;
Health, and the flow of happiness sincere,
Yet there's one wish—. I wish that thou wert here!
With me these dear Autumnal sweets to share,
Losing the trammels of domestic care,
To share my hearts ungovernable joy,
And keep this Birthday of our poor lame Boy!
Ah! That's a tender string—(yet, while I find
That scenes like these can sooth the harass'd mind,
Trust me 'twould set thy jaded spirit free,
To wander thus through vales and woods with me.
Thou know'st how much I love to steal away
From noise, from uproar, and the glare of day,
With double transport would my heart rebound
To lead thee where the clustring nuts are found;
No toilsome efforts would our task demand,
For the brown treasure stoops to meet the hand.
Round the tall Hazel, beds of moss appear
And green-sward nibbled by the Forest Deer;
Sun, and alternate shade,—while o'er our heads
The cawing rook his glossy pinions spreads,
The noisy Jay his wild woods dashing through,
The ring-dove's chorus, and the rustling bough,
The far-resounding Gate, the Kite's shrill scream,
The distant ploughman's hollo to his Team,
This is the concert to my soul so dear,
It would delight thee too, wert thou but here.
For we might talk of home, and talk of days
Of sad distress, and Heav'ns mysterious ways,
Our chequer'd fortunes with a smile retrace,
And build new hopes upon our infant race;
Pour our thanksgivings forth, and weep the while,
And pray for blessing on our native Isle.
But vain my wish—Mary thy sighs forbear,
Nor grudge the pleasure that you cannot share;
Make home delightful, kindly wish for me,
And I'll leave Hills and Dales, and Woods for thee.

RB

Sunday Afternoon, Sepm 16th 1804

You should pay the postage of your letters to me as I am not always at Towcester to receive them, and do not wish to take money out of the pockets of those who treat me so well.

Hannah's letter came yesterday. Miss Johnson knows where to go to for fine views, and charming country, she has most likely been to Matlock in Derbyshire. I am glad you got through your work so well, as my deputy, and should wish you to write a letter every day at the same wages. I expect tomorrow to see the intended Mrs Grant;— We have done nothing but eat Venison for the last fortnight, some good, and some very bad, The Brother's go out in persuit of partridges, and I have been fisher-general to the family. A Lady at Litchborough, niece to Sir Wm Addington, sings charmingly and I have been setting up against her, so that we have made a rare noise. I shall think seriously of coming home on Thursday next, or, (in the language of the Almanack) 'the day before or day after.' I must hope that you and the child are by this time somthing better reconciled to the troublesome task of weaning, and better in health than when Hannah wrote on Friday. I have no time to say more only expect me on Thursday or Friday. Love to All,

Yours truly

Rob Bloomfield

Address: Mrs. Bloomfield / Shepherd & Shepherdess / City Road / London

* BL Add. MS 30809, ff. 44v–45v BACK

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Published @ RC

September 2009