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

54. Robert Bloomfield, copy of 'Lines Written on the Death of his Brother, Isaac Glover', 31 May 1801* 


The following lines were written in the Autumn of 1789 on the Death of my brother who died under the age of 16. I reserved no copy of them, and they had been allmost forgot by my friends, and quite forgot by myself; but I am glad to find that my sister Catharine have discovered a copy of the original in an old pocket-Book, and kindly transcribed it for me, which I here write verbatim from her copy.——May 31 — 1801

R. Bloomfield

Tell me my troubled soul why dost thou live
Midst perishable dust, in worse than nought?
What is the joy, if earth a joy can give,
To make thy longer tarrying worth a thought?

Friendship thou lovest; from God the cherub came
To link congenial souls and bid them soar;
Thy raptures sprang from friendship's sacred name,
Fair op'ning friendship and the hope of more

Though fled the kindred spirit from my sight,
His charming converse vibrates on my ear;
Though he speaks no more, the silent night
Recalls each word and seals it with a tear.

This his cold bed!... Heart, pour thy anguish forth,
While the pale Moon bears witness to thy truth;
O tell, if language can, his early worth;
Tell what thou lost when droopd the generous youth.

Affection cries, he virtue's path had trod,
His mind wide opening anxious to improve;
He wonder'd hourly at the works of God,
His soul was wisdom, and his heart was love.

Meekness and truth in every word he said;
Pity's soft tears would tremble in his eyes;
All gentle virtues blessd him while he stay'd,
And wafts him from us to their native skies. [1] 

* Bodleian MS Eng. Lett.c.461, ff. 10–11 BACK

[1] Bloomfield's lines on his half-brother's death were published, under the title 'Elegy', in Remains, I, pp. 9–10. BACK

Published @ RC

September 2009