A Job For A Lad - Poem by sylvia spencer
There was once a familiar scene above the roof tops
where smoke ascended. With the darkness of the skyline and
the dense November fog, a day not passing by without being
sick or tormented. Chimney sweeps and many of them boys and
boys that never knew how to play with games and toys.
Up the Chimney with a brush in hand, banishing the soot that
choked the land. None schooling lads with no knowledge of books
with soot covered faces just neglecting their looks.
'A job for a lad with a strong back, sixpence a day to clear soot from the stack!
A boyhood dream to earn a bob a two, a paid adventure to climb up
the flue, and the thinner the child he became first in the queue.
A low paid job but that's not all, their growth was stunted and some
never grew at all. Legs with rickets and ever fading eye sight
and a lad without daylight lives a long lonesome night.
If a boy could work he was put to the test, with a slump in the
summer he was grateful of the rest. He had no time to watch
the flowers grow and he knew nothing of the seasons with their
rain and snow.
A small wooden coffin was so often placed in a grave, and in it
a lad who went for a job and became a slave.
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