The Chimney Sweep’s Song on the 1st of May
When my mother died I was very young!
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry weep, weep, weep, weep,
Now 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, and that very night,
As Tom was sleeping he had such a sight
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack,
Were all of them locked 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 the 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 and never want joy.
And so Tom awoke — and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags and our brushes to work;
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy and warm,
And if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.