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The Mores Analysis

Author: Poetry of John Clare Type: Poetry Views: 133

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Far spread the moorey ground a level scene

Bespread with rush and one eternal green

That never felt the rage of blundering plough

Though centurys wreathed spring's blossoms on its brow

Still meeting plains that stretched them far away

In uncheckt shadows of green brown, and grey

Unbounded freedom ruled the wandering scene

Nor fence of ownership crept in between

To hide the prospect of the following eye

Its only bondage was the circling sky

One mighty flat undwarfed by bush and tree

Spread its faint shadow of immensity

And lost itself, which seemed to eke its bounds

In the blue mist the horizon's edge surrounds

Now this sweet vision of my boyish hours

Free as spring clouds and wild as summer flowers

Is faded all-a hope that blossomed free,

And hath been once, no more shall ever be

Inclosure came and trampled on the grave

Of labour's rights and left the poor a slave

And memory's pride ere want to wealth did bow

Is both the shadow and the substance now

The sheep and cows were free to range as then

Where change might prompt nor felt the bonds of men

Cows went and came, with evening morn and night,

To the wild pasture as their common right

And sheep, unfolded with the rising sun

Heard the swains shout and felt their freedom won

Tracked the red fallow field and heath and plain

Then met the brook and drank and roamed again

The brook that dribbled on as clear as glass

Beneath the roots they hid among the grass

While the glad shepherd traced their tracks along

Free as the lark and happy as her song

But now all's fled and flats of many a dye

That seemed to lengthen with the following eye

Moors, loosing from the sight, far, smooth, and blea

Where swopt the plover in its pleasure free

Are vanished now with commons wild and gay

As poet's visions of life's early day

Mulberry-bushes where the boy would run

To fill his hands with fruit are grubbed and done

And hedgrow-briars-flower-lovers overjoyed

Came and got flower-pots-these are all destroyed

And sky-bound mores in mangled garbs are left

Like mighty giants of their limbs bereft

Fence now meets fence in owners' little bounds

Of field and meadow large as garden grounds

In little parcels little minds to please

With men and flocks imprisoned ill at ease

Each little path that led its pleasant way

As sweet as morning leading night astray

Where little flowers bloomed round a varied host

That travel felt delighted to be lost

Nor grudged the steps that he had ta-en as vain

When right roads traced his journeys and again -

Nay, on a broken tree he'd sit awhile

To see the mores and fields and meadows smile

Sometimes with cowslaps smothered-then all white

With daiseys-then the summer's splendid sight

Of cornfields crimson o'er the headache bloomd

Like splendid armys for the battle plumed

He gazed upon them with wild fancy's eye

As fallen landscapes from an evening sky

These paths are stopt-the rude philistine's thrall

Is laid upon them and destroyed them all

Each little tyrant with his little sign

Shows where man claims earth glows no more divine

But paths to freedom and to childhood dear

A board sticks up to notice 'no road here'

And on the tree with ivy overhung

The hated sign by vulgar taste is hung

As tho' the very birds should learn to know

When they go there they must no further go

Thus, with the poor, scared freedom bade goodbye

And much they feel it in the smothered sigh

And birds and trees and flowers without a name

All sighed when lawless law's enclosure came

And dreams of plunder in such rebel schemes

Have found too truly that they were but dreams.


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