Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER, FR. SONGS OF INNOCENCE, by WILLIAM BLAKE



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THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER, FR. SONGS OF INNOCENCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When my mother died I was very young
Last Line: So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.
Subject(s): Bible; Child Labor; Chimney Sweepers & Chimneys; Mythology


When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue,
Could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep.
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep,

Theres little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curl'd like a lambs back, was shav'd, so I said.
Hush Tom never mind it, for when your head's bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.

And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a sleeping he had such a sight,
That thousands of sweepers Dick, Joe, Ned & Jack
Were all of them lock'd up in coffins of black,

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he open'd the coffins & set them all free.
Then down a green plain leaping laughing they run
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom if he'd be a good boy,
He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

And so Tom awoke and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Tho' the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm,
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.





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