I have just received a letter from Troston which I copy with pleasure.
'I have another pleasing communication from Mr. Dyer who is himself a good poet,
and a good critic, he says in a letter received yesterday "Yes Sir I have read
the Farmers Boy, and intend to read it over and over again some time hence.
The Farmers Boy appears to me a truly original and beautiful
poem, it recalled to my mind those ages and those countries in which the Poet
and the Shepherd were more naturally united; under those circumstances some of
the earliest Scotch Ballads were written; and they please us because they
breathe the language of nature and speak to the heart. Your Shepherd's Boy with
the poetical character that he undoubtedly possesses, requires indeed no other
name; poetry is more immediately the language of nature, and whoever has a
relish for such language must I am sure be pleased with Bloomfield, I can truly
say I have been charmed with his Seasons, and that my heart echoes back every
thing said by you in the preface.
Everything that I can say or do to forward so pleasing a poem, I
shall do with great pleasure, and even with pride, for it possesses that kind of
merit that every man must be proud to acknowledge and happy to see patronized
I am extremely delighted with the harvest Home, but I am most
pleased with Autumn and Winter; the wood scenery, swine and pigs feeding on
acorns and wandering in the woods, the Hunt — the disappointment — Night — the
Christmas fire — the sufferings of the post horse, are very characteristic, the
sheep-biter — moonlight — scattered clouds, ewes and lambs, the distracted young
woman is very affecting — the introductory part of spring I much like. The work
appears in a most pleasing form — I shall be glad to see him and am convinced
from his writings that he is an amiable man I perceive no fopperies — no
meretricious ornaments, no language of bigotry and enthusiasm in
Thus far Mr. Dyer,
Lofft goes on to say 'I have copied this from Mr. Dyer's letter because I wish you
and his mother to see what is
said by the best judges of the Farmers Boy. I think what you said in a former
letter is very just, that his absence from the objects he describes with so much
force and feeling, and truth and beauty, was to him what loss of sight was to
Milton and his want of education (what is generally so called) has had its
advantages; if he had been learned, it would not have been possible that he
should have produced so purely original a poem.
I trust you will long enjoy those pleasures which you so justly
expect from his future correspondence; you that with all the sufferings you have
both had to struggle with, have so affectionately and so justly rejoiced in his
correspondence hitherto, appear to have a peculiar right to rejoice in his
better prospects, and in the new sources of knowledge and satisfaction, that I
trust are opening to him'.