The Little Chimney Sweep

By Ernestine Northover

What is above all these chimneys, I asked the young lad,
The chimney sweep boy replied,
Why Sir, it’s the sky which is sometimes so blue,
That when I look up and glance at the view,
Such glory cannot be denied.

What lies in that sky then, I asked the young lad,
The boy gazing up now replied,
Oh Sir, clouds and sunshine, at night moon and stars,
Planets like Jupiter, Saturn and Mars,
What wonders out there can be spied?

Is your work very unbearable, I asked the young lad,
Most times Sir, it is, he replied,
From dawn until dusk, I’m climbing to sweep,
The soot from the chimneys, for my food and my keep,
My Master cannot be defied.

Do you ‘welcome’ the sky, I asked the young lad,
When I’m climbing, I do, he replied,
It’s my friend when it’s dark and the way up is hard,
Because sometimes I get burn’t and then badly scarred,
There’s many a time I have cried.

What then do you wish for, I asked the young lad,
With yearning, he slowly replied,
I would love to be free and fly like the birds,
Way up in the sky, and if I had the words,
Write about how I’d feel like inside.

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