Ernestine Northover

(25th March 1943)

The Little Chimney Sweep - Victorian Times


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.

© Ernestine Northover

Submitted: Saturday, September 03, 2005
Edited: Sunday, January 06, 2008

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Comments about this poem (The Little Chimney Sweep - Victorian Times by Ernestine Northover )

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  • David Harris (2/15/2008 9:36:00 AM)

    Ernestine, thank you for the nudge towards this beautiful poem. As Duncan said you gave the lad a voice which is wonderful. Top Marks and thanks for sharing this my friend.
    David (Report) Reply

  • Sylvia Spencer (10/19/2006 9:21:00 AM)

    Ernestine just lovely you are so right they are a good subject to write about, there is so much in the past that people take for granted and just accept things as they were, without looking into why or how. Loved the poem. cheers Sylvie (Report) Reply

  • Duncan Wyllie (4/14/2006 1:58:00 PM)

    You gave the little boy a voice Ernestine, what more could any one need, wonderfully written
    Love Duncan (Report) Reply

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