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THE CHIMNEY SWEEPER

By
William Blake
1757 - 1827


&/\&/\&

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.
 

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head,

That curl'd like a lamb's 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 thousand 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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