The Chimney Sweeper – Innocence
When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry ‘weep!’ ‘weep!’ ‘weep!’
So your chimneys I sweep and 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 thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned and 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 and 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 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.