The Little Vagabond

By William Blake

Dear mother, dear mother, the church is cold,
But the ale-house is healthy and pleasant and warm;
Besides I can tell where I am used well,
Such usage in Heaven will never do well.


But if at the church they would give us some ale,
And a pleasant fire our souls to regale,
We’d sing and we’d pray all the live-long day,
Nor ever once wish from the church to stray.


Then the parson might preach, and drink, and sing,
And we’d be as happy as birds in the spring;
And modest Dame Lurch, who is always at church,
Would not have bandy children, nor fasting, nor birch.


And God, like a father rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant and happy as he,
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the barrel,
But kiss him, and give him both drink and apparel.

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