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

408. Thomas Bachelor to Hannah Bloomfield, n.d. * 

To Miss Hannah Bloomfield [illegible word] [illegible word]

I beg to acknowledge the favour of a copy of your respected fathers 'Remains in which I have found many passages creditable to Mr Bloomfields taste & genius though perhaps a few which he would have rejected.

If the letter addressed <by me> to Mr Bloomfield Sept 5. 1819 is thought worthy of a place in his 'Memoirs and Correspondence' I feel no particular objection to its publication, though I am doubtful if the public would find much interest in it. And I have observed that the Reviewers [illegible word] express regret that the Editors of the Remains <Posthumous Letters &c> make too little use of the pruning knife.

I have been able to discover but two letters, and which I believe are all I ever received from Mr Bloomfield. These I have inclosed according to your request. The first, as you will see, was an answer to the one you inclosed to me, with a promise of another letter which I presume the unhappy state of your fathers health, &c, caused to slip his memory. The other note, of May 9. 1822 accompanied 'May Day with the Muses' which he was so obliging as to send me as a present. [1] 

I make no doubt you are aware that the Verses Vol 1 p 151 of the 'Remains' [2]  were written by me <at> the time in which I was also an <vain> aspirant for poetical fame. They were sent to Capel Lofft Esqr—and as I understood from him were printed in the Monthly Mirror, some time in the year 1801. [3]  They differ rather remarkably from a manu M.S. in my possession by the omission of a whole line (the 8th) which should have completed the 2nd stanza: 'Virtue approves, and Genius must admire' The conclusion in my MS. was 'humble shed' which I deemed a poetical expression for a cottage, & I know not why it was altered to 'humble bed' There are two other alterations which perhaps may be improvements, but the whole piece is of little consequence, & I am sorry to observe that it ends with a prediction which like many others was but imperfectly verified.

* Bedfordshire and Luton Archives, X 135/36 (Draft) BACK

[1] This is Letter 360. BACK

[2] In the first volume of Remains the poem appears on pp. 151–52 and reads:

TO ROBERT BLOOMFIELD,

Author of 'The Farmer's Boy.'

SWEET are the warblings of the vernal choir
When love's soft impulse glows in every vein:
But sweeter far the music of thy strain:
Thy ardent bosom owns a nobler fire,
O gentle poet of the rural lyre!
Thy verse is crown'd with indeciduous bays;
Fair nature views her mirror in thy lays.
What forms celestial o'er my vision play?
What choral sympathies salute my ear?
Hark! 'tis the muses from th' ethereal sphere.
They chant the praises of thy Doric lay:–
Come, thou pride of rural song,
Sweep again the trembling wire:
Far from life's tumultuous throng
Tune thy sweetly plaintive lyre.
Where meandering currents stray,
Heav'n-reflecting crystal floods;
Where the gentle zephyrs play,
Whispering through the vernal woods.
Spring for thee shall weave a wreath
Of all her fairest, sweetest flowers;
Summer stay his fervid breath,
Or shield thee in umbrageous bowers.
For thee shall Autumn's nectar flow,
His golden fruit thy table spread;
And Winter's ruffian blasts shall blow,
Innocuous, o'er thy humble bed.

T. B––––R.

BACK

[3] Bachelor's poem 'To Robert Bloomfield, Author of The Farmer's Boy' was in the January 1801 issue of The Monthly Mirror. BACK

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Published @ RC

September 2009