11
$\begingroup$

On roaming paths I put a break,

A nation's dream, I fill its shape;

A rascal's drudging work I take,

And all my kind, good neighbors make.

What am I?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Please. Dont tell me the answer is Hong Kong people. $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Sep 11 at 23:16
12
$\begingroup$

I'm pretty sure you are

a FENCE.

On roaming paths I put a break,

(Literally.)

A nation's dream, I fill its shape;

I didn't understand this line at all, but in comments tmpearce makes the very plausible suggestion that the line refers to "the American Dream", in its incarnation as a suburban house and garden surrounded by a white picket fence.

A rascal's drudging work I take,

My original interpretation: A fence is a receiver (and seller) of stolen goods. The rascal is a thief. (Not sure I'd exactly call theft "drudging", though maybe it is.) Darrel Hoffman's much better interpretation, in comments: This is a reference to Mark Twain's story of Tom Sawyer tricking his friends into painting a fence for him.

And all my kind, good neighbors make.

"Good fences make good neighbours."

The title -- "Not to protest, but -" -- refers, I think, to

picket fences.

Credit where due:

tmpearce figured out the "American Dream" bit (for which I didn't have any good ideas); Darrel Hoffman figured out the Tom Sawyer bit (for which my alternative interpretation is, I think, kinda OK though clearly inferior).

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ For line 2, I suspect it has to do with rot13(Gur "Nzrevpna Qernz" naq "juvgr cvpxrg sraprf" - uggcf://jjj.fzvgufbavnaznt.pbz/uvfgbel/uvfgbel-juvgr-cvpxrg-srapr-180971635/) but I don't quite understand the precise wording of the clue, perhaps it is more nuanced than I'm appreciating $\endgroup$ – tmpearce Sep 12 at 2:05
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, that's quite possible. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Sep 12 at 2:08
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Qhevat gur gjragvrgu praghel, gur Nzrevpna Qernz jnf fgebatyl gvrq gb ynaq bjarefuvc naq ubzr bjarefuvc. Fb V nz snveyl pregnva guvf vf pbeerpg.) $\endgroup$ – Cloudy7 Sep 12 at 2:23
  • $\begingroup$ Not sure whether or not to upvote this answer...really can't make up my mind at all... going back and forth in my head...both sides have value. Definitely on the -----. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Sep 12 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ I unmarked this as the answer -- it's not exactly right, though very close -- however, unless you get this exactly right the second and third line will not make any sense. $\endgroup$ – jackson h Sep 12 at 13:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.