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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 production, “ 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,
mains, Round Euston's water'd vale, and sloping plains,
Where woods and groves in solemn, grandeur
rise, Where the kite brooding unmolested flies ; The woodcock and the painted pheasant race, And skulking foxes, destined for the chase ; There Giles, untaught and unrepining, stray'd Through every copse, and grove, and winding There his first thoughts to Nature's charms, in
clined, That stamps devotion on the inquiring mind.
This task had Giles, in fields remote from
home : Oft has he wish'd the rosy morn to come: Yet never famed was he, nor foremost found To break the seal of sleep; his sleep was sound: But when at daybreak summon'd from his bed, Light as the lark that caroll’d o'er his head. His sandy way, deep-worn by hasty showers, O'erarch'd with oaks that form fantastic bowers, Waving aloft their towering branches proud, In borrow'd tinges from the eastern cloud, Gave inspiration, pure as ever flow'd, And genuine transport in his bosom glow'd. His own shrill matin join'd the various notes Of Nature's music from a thousand throats : The Blackbird stroye with emulation sweet, And Echo answer'd from her close retreat ; The sporting Whitethroat, on some twig's end
borne, Pour'd hymns to freedom and the rising morn ; Stopt in her song, perchance, the starting Thrush Shook a white shower from the black-thorn bush,
Where dewdrops thick as early blossoms, hung,
Say, ye that know, ye who have felt and seen Spring's morning smiles and soul-enlivening
green; Say, did ye give the thrilling transport way? Did your eye brighten when young lambs at play Leap'd o'er your path with animated pride, Or gazed in merry clusters by your side ? Ye who can smile, to wisdom no disgrace, At the arch meaning of a kitten's face: If spotless innocence, and infant mirth, Excite to praise, or give reflection birth; In shades like these pursue your favourite joy, ’Midst Nature's revels, sports that never cloy.
A few begin a short but vigorous race, And Indolence abash'd soon flies the place ; Thus challenged forth, see thither, one by one, From every side assembling playmates run; A thousand wily antics mark their stay, A starting crowd, impatient of delay. Like the fond dove, from fearful prison freed, Each seems to say, " Come, let us try our
speed.” Away they scour, impetuous, ardent, strong, The green turf trembling as they bound along ; A down the slope, then up the hillock climb, Where every molehill is a bed of thyme ;
There panting stop ; yet scarcely can refrain ;
DR JOHN LEYDEN.
BORN 1775-DIED 1811.
WITHOUT sustaining a very high or brilliant poetical repu
tation, Leyden is one of those Scottish literary adventurers in whom his country feels a just pride. He was born at Denholm, on the banks of the Teviot, and received the ordinary routine education of the parish-school; but, in his native border-land of song and chivalry, the young and susceptible mind of Leyden was richly stored with legends of Scottish prowess and romance. This early training, aided by antiquarian or black-letter reading, to which he was devoted from the time he came to the Edinburgh university, was soon agreeably displayed in several beautiful romantic ballads, now enrolled in the pages of the Border Minstrelsy, and in his Scenes