359. Robert Bloomfield to John Clare, 3 May 1822


359. Robert Bloomfield to John Clare, 3 May 1822* 

Shefford, Beds, May 3d. 1822

Neighbour John,

If we were still nearer neighbours I would see you, and thank you personally for the two vollums of your poems sent me so long ago. I write with such labour and difficulty that I cannot venture to praise or discriminate like a critic, but must only say that you have given us great pleasure.

I beg your acceptance of my just publishd little vollumn; [1]  and, sick and ill as I continually feel, I can join you heartily in your exclamation—

'What is Life?' [2] 

With best regards and wishes

I am yours sincerely

Robt. Bloomfield

* Private collection (copy in Northamptonshire Central Library) BACK

[1] The little volume was May Day with the Muses. BACK

[2] An allusion to Clare's poem 'What is life? An hour glass on the run', Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (London and Stamford, 1820), p. 25. BACK