The Mores

Far spread the moorey ground a level scene
Bespread with rush & one eternal green
That never felt the rage of blundering plough
Though centurys wreathed springs blossoms on its brow
Still meeting plains that stretched them far away
In uncheckt shadows of green brown & 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 & tree
Spread its faint shadow of immensity
& lost itself which seemed to eke its bounds
In the blue mist the orisons edge surrounds
Now this sweet vision of my boyish hours
Free as spring clouds & wild as summer flowers
Is faded all—a hope that blossomed free
& hath been once no more shall ever be
Inclosure came & trampled on the grave
Of labours rights & left the poor a slave
& memorys pride ere want to wealth did bow
Is both the shadow & the substance now
The sheep & cows were free to range as then
Where change might prompt nor felt the bonds of men
Cows went & came with every morn & night
To the wild pasture as their common right
& sheep unfolded with the rising sun
Heard the swains shout & felt their freedom won
Tracked the red fallow field & heath & plain
Then met the brook & drank & roamed again
The brook that dribbled on as clear as glass
Beneath the roots then hid among the grass
While the glad shepherd traced their tracks along
Free as the lark & happy as her song
But now alls fled & flats of many a dye
That seemed to lengthen with the following eye
Moors loosing from the sight far smooth & blea
Where swopt the plover in its pleasure free
Are vanished now with commons wild & gay
As poets visions of lifes early day
Mulberry bushes where the boy would run
To fill his hands with fruit—are grubbed & done
& hedgrow briars—flower lovers overjoyed
Came & got flower pots—these are all destroyed
& sky bound mores in mangled garbs are left
Like mighty jiants of their limbs bereft
Fence now meets fence in owners little bounds
Of field & meadow large as garden grounds
In little parcels little minds to please
With men & 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 taen as vain
When right roads traced his journeys end again
Nay on a broken tree hed sit awhile
To see the mores & fields & meadows smile
Sometimes with cowslaps smothered—then all white
With daiseys—then the summers splendid sight
Of corn fields crimson oer with the ‘head ach’ bloomd
Like splendid armys for the battle plumed
He gazed upon them with wild fancys eye
As fallen landscapes from an evening sky
These paths are stopt—the rude philistines thrall
Is laid upon them & destroyed them all
Each little tyrant with his little sign
Shows where man claims earths glows no more divine
On paths to freedom & to childhood dear
A board sticks up to notice ‘no road here’
& on the tree with ivy over hung
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 good bye
& much the[y] feel it in the smothered sigh
& birds & trees & flowers without a name
All sighed when lawless laws enclosure came
& dreams of plunder in such rebel schemes
Have found too truly that they were but dreams
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