Robert Bloomfifxd, an English pastoral poet, born at Honington, Suffolk, Dec. 3, 1766, died at Bhefford, Bedfordshire, Aug. 19, 1823. At an early age he lost his father, a tailor, and was taught to read by his mother, who kept a dame school. Not being sufficiently robust for a farmer's boy, he was sent to London to Irani the business of a shoemaker, and in his brief leisure read a few books of poetry, including Thomson's "Seasons," which he greatly admired. He composed in a garret where he lodged "The Farmer's Boy," in which he described the country scenes he had been familiar with in childhood. Several London publishers declined this poem, but it was seen by Mr. Capel Lofft, and under his patronage it was published in 1800. Within three years over 26,000 copies were sold, and it was translated into German, French, Italian, and Latin. The duke of Grafton appointed Bloomfield to a government situation, but ill health caused him to return to his trade of ladies' shoemaker, the duke settling a shilling a day on him for the rest of his life. Finally, he retired to ShefFord, where he died in debt, leaving a widow and four children. His "Farmer's Boy," which has often been reprinted, is by far his best production.
His other principal poems are: "Rural Tales and Ballads," "Good Tidings," "Wild Flowers," "The Banks of the Wye," and " May Day with the Muses."