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William Blake (1757-1827)

The Chimney Sweeper: A little black thing among the snow


              1A little black thing among the snow,
              2Crying "weep! 'weep!" in notes of woe!
              3"Where are thy father and mother? say?"
              4"They are both gone up to the church to pray.

              5Because I was happy upon the heath,
              6And smil'd among the winter's snow,
              7They clothed me in the clothes of death,
              8And taught me to sing the notes of woe.

              9And because I am happy and dance and sing,
            10They think they have done me no injury,
            11And are gone to praise God and his Priest and King,
            12Who make up a heaven of our misery."


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: William Blake, Songs of Experience (1794). Blake's Illuminated Books, ed. David Bindman (Princeton, NJ: William Blake Trust; London: Tate Gallery, 1991-). See Vol. 2. PR 4142 B46 1991 ROBA.
First publication date: 1794
RPO poem editor: Northrop Frye
RP edition: 3RP 2.284.
Recent editing: 4:2002/3/14*1:2003/7/22

Rhyme: aabb and abab


Other poems by William Blake