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

33. Robert Bloomfield to Thomas Hill, 9 July 1800* 

Sir

It remains for you to judge whither the following is to be admitted as a companion to the 'Hour Glass'. [1]  if not, I am fully perswaded that you will suppress it, and perhaps think no worse of your most obedient

Servant,

Robert Bloomfield


A Neighbourly Resolution [2] 

By Robert Bloomfield.

Author of the Farmer's Boy


With Scythe fresh sharpen'd by his side,
To bring the ripen'd Barley down;
One morning when the dew was dried,
Thus reas'ning to himself, John Brown, [3] 
Stood, where of late
His little gate
Was cover'd by an Elm's deep shade: —  [4] 
'Ah! There thou liest; wide shelt'ring tree!
Beneath whose boughs, in youthfull glee,
My first Love-vow was made!

2

Thou hast surviv'd my Wife 'tis true,
Thy leaves have sigh'd to me alone,
Have sigh'd in Autumn's yellow hue; [5] 
I've felt thy lessons every one;
Of thee bereft,
There may be left,
(Though 'twas no friend that cut thee down)
There may be joys in store, I say; [6] 
I've thought that Goody Gascoin may [7] 
Be kind to neighbour Brown.

3

I've liv'd alone; she's done the same,
Through summer's heat, and Winter's cold;
I trust we still might feel love's flame,
Though Girls and Boys may call us old;
O could we be
Embowr'd by thee!
Vain wish! My poor old Elm is down: —
May shadeless labour; and sour Ale,
Far from this stream and this sweet vale
Plague him that rob'd John Brown

4

But, though midst clustring leaves no more
The Robin gives his morning trill;
Winter may bring him to my door,
And Goody Gascoin; — if she will.
I'll know her mind;
If so inclin'd,
Tis Death alone shall make us part:
And though his cot's sweet shade is down,
This charm she'll find in neighbour Brown,
Gay chearfullness of heart.'

Robert Bloomfield

* Wisbech and Fenland Museum MS 2003.35.26. The letter also contains Hill's pencilled emendations to the text of Bloomfield's poem (see notes) and his instructions to the printer: 'The ideal emendations are only in pencil that they may be removed or retained as the Editor's judgment directs. / Probatum est TH'. BACK

[1] Bloomfield's 'The Widow to her Hour-Glass' was published in Rural Tales, pp. 59–62. BACK

[2] 'A Neighbourly Resolution' was published, after Bloomfield's death, in the first volume of Remains, pp. 79–80. BACK

[3] A replacement for the words in italics is suggested in a pencilled marginal note: musing with. BACK

[4] A replacement for the word in italics is suggested in a pencilled marginal note: broad. BACK

[5] A replacement for the word in italics is suggested (and rejected) in a pencilled marginal note: sallow. BACK

[6] A replacement for the word in italics is suggested in a pencilled marginal note: left. BACK

[7] A replacement for the word in italics is suggested in a pencilled marginal note: Some joys — for. BACK

Published @ RC

September 2009