« السابقةمتابعة »
The slave's spicy forests, and gold bubbling
fountains, The brave Caledonian views wi' disdain ; He wanders as free as the winds of his mountains, Save love's willing fetters, the chains o' his
HERE's a health to ane I lo'e dear,
Here's a health to ane I lo'e dear;
Although thou maun never be mine,
Although even hope is denied ; 'Tis sweeter for thee despairing, Than aught in the world beside-Jessy!
Here's a health, &c.
I mourn through the gay, gaudy day,
As, hopeless, I muse on thy charms;
Here's a health, &c.
I guess by the dear angel-smile,
I guess by the love-rolling e'e; But, why urge the tender confession, 'Gainst fortune's fell cruel decree-Jessy!
Here's a health, &c.
BESSY AT HER SPINNING-WHEEL.
O LEEZE me on my spinning-wheel,
On ilka hand the burnies trot,
On lofty aiks the cushats wail,
Wisma' to sell, and less to buy,
Amid their flaring, idle toys,
BORN 1766-DIED 1823.
The author of « THE FARMER'S BOY" was born at Hon.
ington, in Bedfordshire. His father was a tailor, but Bloomfield lost him while still a child, and to his mother he was indebted for all the education he got. In her wi. dowhood she kept a school for the maintenance of her orphan family. At the age of eleven Robert went into the employment of an uncle who was a farmer. While there, his principal duty was to scare the birds from the corn, and such light offices as suited his years. Here he silently and unconsciously accumulated that store of rural images afterwards so pleasingly displayed in “ The Farmer's Boy.” But his intercourse with rural life was soon broken off. He was taken to London by an elder brother, who taught him his own trade of shoemaking. This calling Bloomfield exercised for a good many years; and he had married long before he was known as a poet. Reading had always been his delight, especially poetry; and from admiring he began to imitate, till, almost by accident, some of his verses found a place in a newspaper. Publication, in whatever shape, forms a new era in a poet's existence. A success so flattering as a place in a newspaper induced farther attempts, and The Farmer's Boy was composed, but obtained little notice till it luckily
fell into the hands of Mr Capel Lofft, who spared no pains to bring the poet into notice. The poem passed through many editions, and obtained for its author the patronage of the Duke of Grafton, who gave Bloomfield a small annuity, and the place of Under-sealer in the Seal-office. Ill health compelled Bloomfield to resign this small office; and he returned to his awl, and occasionally made Æolian harps, which were bought by those who wished to afford a modest and ingenious man some trifling assistance without wounding his feelings of independence. He also published several volumes, which all had a tolerable sale; nor is it easy to account for his pecuniary hardships and continual embarrassments on the supposition of a common degree of prudence. After this period, he engaged in bookselling without either capital or knowledge of business, and soon became bankrupt. He then left London in very bad health, and settled at Shefford, in Bedfordshire. It is told, that a place was solicited for him at this time by Mr Rogers, and that a powerful minister of the day gave his promise; which was kept as many such promises are. It is more pleasing to mention, that Mr Southey attempted to obtain an annuity for the humble poet among literary friends and admirers, and generously offered five pounds a year as his own contribution. Bloomfield was by this time unfit for any species of labour, whether mental or mechanical. Violent headaches nearly deprived him of sight; and he suffered so much from debility and nervous irritation, that his friends became apprehensive for his soundness of mind. From these fears they were re
leased by his death. The poetical reputation of Bloomfield rests on his first pro
duction, “ The Farmer's Boy," which, if rather overestimated on its first appearance, must long continue to please from its truth and simplicity of sentiment, and from smoothness and even sweetness of versification. It
gives a fine picture of English still-life-of those rural occupations which, when naturally treated, can never fail to please ; and the subject is not only wellchosen, but happily suited to the powers of one whose first poetical impressions were received about an English farm and homestead, and whose imagination never overleapt the pales. “ Wild Flowers,” a small volume of Bloomfield's, contains many agreeable passages.
FROM THE FARMER'S BOY.
LIVE, trifling incidents, and grace my song,
ma Round Euston's water'd vale, and sloping plains,