201. Robert Bloomfield to the Editor of The Monthly Mirror, n.d.  

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

201. Robert Bloomfield to the Editor of The Monthly Mirror, n.d. * 

Sir,

The following simple story contains nothing of fiction. The butcher, whose name was Cattan, lived nearly oposite the present residence of our mutual friend, C. Lofft, Esq. at Troston; and the accident happened at the farm now in the occupation of Mr. Mothersole, at Sapiston, Suffolk.

Yours, &c.

Rob. Bloomfield

THE BUTCHER'S HORSE.

A VILLAGE TRAGEDY.

'TWAS June, the sun was towering high,
When bees collect their yellow store,
A butcher's steed, with drowsy eye,
Stood waiting at a farmer's door.

Fast went his master's tongue within,
The mug, perhaps, was in his hand;
For many a tale would he begin,
Would go, and stay, and drink, and stand.

A beehive near, that instant fell,
The angry swarm by thousands rose,
Where o'er the pales, sad tale to tell!
Lay poor old Dobbin's harmless nose.

Quick vengeance sounded on their wings,
They saw their realms in ruins lie,
And darting forth their dreadful stings,
All leagued to punish or to die.

At once they roar'd round Dobbin's head,
He snapt his bridle, kick'd, and flung,
And furious down the pasture fled,
They, just as furious, round him clung.

Unstrapt, the jolting baskets fell,
And on he ran with all his might;
But how, or where, not long could tell;
His strength of limb out-lasted sight.

For sore they pierc'd his swelling eyes,
And cluster'd round his lips and tongue:
Sharp were the stings of summer flies,
But angry bees more deadly stung.

In mid-day darkness plung'd the beast;
His unrelenting foes pursu'd;
He toss'd his head, still unreleas'd,
Then round again the race renew'd.

Help came from cottage, field, and farm,
Children in terror gather'd round;
With many a bough they lash'd the swarm,
And trampled hundreds on the ground.

Not one the less there seem'd to be,
Nor was their spite one moment stay'd;
On, on they went to victory,
And ev'ry gazer stood dismay'd.

His throat inflam'd with many a wound,
Stretch'd out, he heav'd his panting side,
Till breath no more a passage found;
Such was the death that Dobbin died!

O'er his poor beast the butcher wept—
The good old man was mov'd to tears!
And hence, perhaps, my heart has kept
This tale from childhood's early years.

* The Monthly Mirror, NS 1 (January 1807), 59 BACK

Published @ RC

September 2009