Rural Tales, Ballads, and Songs

Robert Bloomfield
Project Gutenberg's Rural Tales, Ballads, and Songs, by Robert
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Title: Rural Tales, Ballads, and Songs
Author: Robert Bloomfield
Release Date: October, 2005 [EBook #9093]
[Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on September
4, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Charles Bidwell and Distributed
Author of The Farmers Boy
Printed for Vernor and Hood, Poultry;
and Longman
and Rees, Paternoster-Row
By T. Bensley, Bolt-court, Fleet-street.
The Poems here offered to the Public were chiefly written during the
interval between the concluding and the publishing of THE
FARMER'S BOY, an interval of nearly two years. The pieces of a later
date are, _the Widow to her Hour-Glass, the Fakenham Ghost, Walter
and Jane_, &c. At the tune of publishing the Farmer's Boy,
circumstances occurred which rendered it necessary to submit these
Poems to the perusal of my Friends: under whose approbation I now
give them, with some confidence as to their moral merit, to the
judgment of the Public. And as they treat of village manners, and rural
scenes, it appears to me not ill-tim'd to avow, that I have hopes of
meeting in some degree the approbation of my Country. I was not
prepar'd for the decided, and I may surely say extraordinary attention
which the Public has shewn towards the Farmer's Boy: the consequence
has been such as my true friends will rejoice to hear; it has produc'd me
many essential blessings. And I feel peculiarly gratified in finding that
a poor man in England may assert the dignity of Virtue, and speak of
the imperishable beauties of Nature, and be heard, and heard, perhaps,
with greater attention for his being poor.

Whoever thinks of me or my concerns, must necessarily indulge the
pleasing idea of gratitude, and join a thought of my first great friend Mr.
LOFFT. And on this head, I believe every reader, who has himself any
feeling, will judge rightly of mine: if otherwise, I would much rather he
would lay down this volume, and grasp hold of such fleeting pleasures
as the world's business may afford him. I speak not of that gentleman as
a public character, or as a scholar. Of the former I know but little, and
of the latter nothing. But I know from experience, and I glory in this
fair opportunity of saying it, that his private life is a lesson of morality;
his manners gentle, his heart sincere: and I regard it as one of the most
fortunate circumstances of my life, that my introduction to public
notice fell to so zealous and unwearied a friend.[Footnote: I dare not
take to myself a praise like this; and yet I was, perhaps, hardly at liberty
to disclaim what should be mine and the endeavour of every one to
deserve. This I can say, that I have reason to rejoice that Mr. George
Bloomfield introduced the Farmer's Boy to me. C. L.]
I have received many honourable testimonies of esteem from strangers;
letters without a name, but fill'd with the most cordial advice, and
almost a parental anxiety, for my safety under so great a share of public
applause. I beg to refer such friends to the great teacher Time: and hope
that he will hereafter give me my deserts, and no more.
One piece in this collection will inform the reader of my most pleasing
visit to Wakefield Lodge: books, solitude, and objects entirely new,
brought pleasures which memory will always cherish. That noble and
worthy Family, and all my immediate and unknown Friends, will, I
hope, believe the sincerity of my thanks for all their numerous favours,
and candidly judge the Poems before them.
Sept. 29, 1801.
P.S. Since affixing the above date, an event of much greater importance
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