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A picture of william blake author of the chimney sweeper poems

William blake

The Chimney Sweeper: When my mother died I was very young


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 curled like a lamb’s back, was shaved, 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 locked up in coffins of black;

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,

And he opened 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.

Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;

So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow

By William Blake

A little black thing among the snow,

Crying “weep! ‘weep!” in notes of woe!

“Where are thy father and mother? say?”

“They are both gone up to the church to pray.

Because I was happy upon the heath,

And smil’d among the winter’s snow,

They clothed me in the clothes of death,

And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

And because I am happy and dance and sing,

They think they have done me no injury,

And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King,

Who make up a heaven of our misery.”

An original representation of the chimney sweepers poems

Thank you for reading

Master Chimney Sweep Chimney Sweep Devon

5 Responses to “The chimney sweepers poem vol 1”

  1. Andy Barnes

    Liking the historical perspective Danny – part of the culture from where every one of us spring. Sweeps were virtually part of the underworld then. Now we chat via a virtual world that remains an undiscovered country – even to our customers.

    • Daniel Hodgson

      We have come a long way as chimney professionals.
      Andy over the next few months i will be explorimg devons history. These will be listed in the Devon History section of the blog site. I will be taking interesting historic facts from villages all over devon.

  2. Wayne Herring

    Wow, where did you find that Danny, as a chimney sweep I find anything relevant to our trade hugely interesting, I’ve never read a poem like that before, what a great find, well done.


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