Clare-ity on Enclosure

Stone Walls in the Ring of Kerry

From “The Mores,” by John Clare

These paths are stopt–the rude philistines thrall
Is laid upon that 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
This with the poor scared freedom bade goodbye
And much they feel it in the smothered sigh
And birds and trees and flowers without name
All sighed when lawless laws enclosure came.

The Enclosures of the 18th century (In Our Time, BBC podcast)

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