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The Chimney Sweeper

From 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!'
So your chimneys I sweep, and 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.