99th Challenge - Diversity and Common Law

a poem by Kenneth Malvyn Clark, UK

Common Law

Here’s a little tale about common law
from long ago when people were poor,
when feudal Barons did rule our land
imposing their will with a heavy hand.

A time of serfdom Kings and Knights
of unjust taxes and a charter of rights,
a Magna Carta a governance by choice
giving Baron and serf freedom of voice.

A charter of rights enshrined into law
that justice was equal for rich and poor,
but soon reneged by Bishops and Crown
when black death came to cities and town.

Thousands dead from villages and shire
discontent rife the peasants future dire,
coffers empty from a hundred years war
rights swept away no more common law.

A poll tax imposed by old John of Gaunt
for peasants to pay the Barons to flaunt,
a crippling tax on each head of the poor
that led to events the King never foresaw.

Till young Wat Tyler led a peasants revolt
marched upon London for the tax to halt,
died by the sword calling injustice a crime,
for a common law, that stands test of time.

In response to John’s request

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