The Water Babies: A FairyTale For A Land Baby: Sketches

Description

THE CHIMNEY SWEEP.
by Mr.William Blake
(1789 -Songs of Innocence)

When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue,
Could scarcely cry ‘weep! weep! weep! weep! weep!’
So your chimneys I sweep, & 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, and 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 brilliant key,
And he open’d the coffins and set them all free,
Then down a green plain leaping, laughing they run,
And was in a river, and shine in the sun.

Then naked and 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, and never want for joy.

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