Helpstone (extract)

A reminder of the causes of Clare's sadness at the loss of the fields he knew as a boy.  And the passage "accursed wealth" to which many of his (largely wealthy remember) reading public -  and his publishers Taylor and Hessey - objected so much.   Quite likely one of the reasons why Clare's second collection did so badly?

As fair & sweet they bloomd thy plains among
As blooms those Edens by the poets sung
Now all laid waste by desolations hand
Whose cursed weapons levels half the land
Oh who could see my dear green willows fall
What feeling heart but dropt a tear for all
Accursed wealth oer bounding human laws
Of every evil thou remains the cause
Victims of want those wretches such as me
Too truly lay their wretchedness to thee
Thou art the bar that keeps from being fed
& thine our loss of labour & of bread
Thou art the cause that levels every tree
& woods bow down to clear a way for thee

Sweet rest & peace ye dear departed Charms
Which once Industry cherishd in her arms
When peace & plenty known but now to few
Where known to all & labour had his due
When mirth & toil companions thro' the day
Made labour light & passd the hours away
When nature made the fields so dear to me
Thin scattering many a bush & many a tree
Where the wood minstrels sweetly joind among
& cheer'd my needy toilings with a song

Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery (1820)
(lines 121-144)

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