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, and 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 locked up in coffins of black. And by came an angel, who had a bright key, And he opened 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 and 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: So, if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.
William Blake - 1757-1827
Auguries of Innocence
To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour A Robin Red breast in a Cage Puts all Heaven in a Rage A Dove house filld with Doves & Pigeons Shudders Hell thr' all its regions A dog starvd at his Masters Gate Predicts the ruin of the State A Horse misusd upon the Road Calls to Heaven for Human blood Each outcry of the hunted Hare A fibre from the Brain does tear A Skylark wounded in the wing A Cherubim does cease to sing The Game Cock clipd & armd for fight Does the Rising Sun affright Every Wolfs & Lions howl Raises from Hell a Human Soul The wild deer, wandring here & there Keeps the Human Soul from Care The Lamb misusd breeds Public Strife And yet forgives the Butchers knife The Bat that flits at close of Eve Has left the Brain that wont Believe The Owl that calls upon the Night Speaks the Unbelievers fright He who shall hurt the little Wren Shall never be belovd by Men He who the Ox to wrath has movd Shall never be by Woman lovd The wanton Boy that kills the Fly Shall feel the Spiders enmity He who torments the Chafers Sprite Weaves a Bower in endless Night The Catterpiller on the Leaf Repeats to thee thy Mothers grief Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly For the Last Judgment draweth nigh He who shall train the Horse to War Shall never pass the Polar Bar The Beggars Dog & Widows Cat Feed them & thou wilt grow fat The Gnat that sings his Summers Song Poison gets from Slanders tongue The poison of the Snake & Newt Is the sweat of Envys Foot The poison of the Honey Bee Is the Artists Jealousy The Princes Robes & Beggars Rags Are Toadstools on the Misers Bags A Truth thats told with bad intent Beats all the Lies you can invent It is right it should be so Man was made for Joy & Woe And when this we rightly know Thro the World we safely go Joy & Woe are woven fine A Clothing for the soul divine Under every grief & pine Runs a joy with silken twine The Babe is more than swadling Bands Throughout all these Human Lands Tools were made & Born were hands Every Farmer Understands Every Tear from Every Eye Becomes a Babe in Eternity This is caught by Females bright And returnd to its own delight The Bleat the Bark Bellow & Roar Are Waves that Beat on Heavens Shore The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath Writes Revenge in realms of Death The Beggars Rags fluttering in Air Does to Rags the Heavens tear The Soldier armd with Sword & Gun Palsied strikes the Summers Sun The poor Mans Farthing is worth more Than all the Gold on Africs Shore One Mite wrung from the Labrers hands Shall buy & sell the Misers Lands Or if protected from on high Does that whole Nation sell & buy He who mocks the Infants Faith Shall be mockd in Age & Death He who shall teach the Child to Doubt The rotting Grave shall neer get out He who respects the Infants faith Triumphs over Hell & Death The Childs Toys & the Old Mans Reasons Are the Fruits of the Two seasons The Questioner who sits so sly Shall never know how to Reply He who replies to words of Doubt Doth put the Light of Knowledge out The Strongest Poison ever known Came from Caesars Laurel Crown Nought can Deform the Human Race Like to the Armours iron brace When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow A Riddle or the Crickets Cry Is to Doubt a fit Reply The Emmets Inch & Eagles Mile Make Lame Philosophy to smile He who Doubts from what he sees Will neer Believe do what you Please If the Sun & Moon should Doubt Theyd immediately Go out To be in a Passion you Good may Do But no Good if a Passion is in you The Whore & Gambler by the State Licencd build that Nations Fate The Harlots cry from Street to Street Shall weave Old Englands winding Sheet The Winners Shout the Losers Curse Dance before dead Englands Hearse Every Night & every Morn Some to Misery are Born Every Morn and every Night Some are Born to sweet delight Some are Born to sweet delight Some are Born to Endless Night We are led to Believe a Lie When we see not Thro the Eye Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light God Appears & God is Light To those poor Souls who dwell in Night But does a Human Form Display To those who Dwell in Realms of day