This poem is written in iambic tetrameter and consists of three quatrains. The rhyme scheme is AABB CDCD EFEF.
The character of the poem is a chimney sweep who is crying and alone in the snow. He tells the reader that he has been sold by his parents "because [he] was happy upon the hearth". His parents are now in church praising God, while the boy wears the "clothes of death" and sings "songs of woe".
The themes in this poem are the forced child labor and the hypocrisy of Christianity. The boy is full of woe: he is living a miserable existence. Chimney sweeps were subject to cruel masters and often suffered from terrible diseases from inhaling soot or fell to their death. The boy's parents, however, are praying to "God and king," who the boy sees as having made the "heaven of misery".
This final line refers to the fact that there are people who benefit from his misery: his parents who sold him and his new owners who use him as merely a tool to make money. This line could be seen as a plea from the child for the church and the king to speak up on behalf of the chimney sweeps, to use their power to put an end to the practice of using very young children in this way. Ultimately the child feels forgotten, isolated, and doomed.