[Page 22]


1 A chimney sweeper's boy am I;
2 Pity my wretched fate!
3 Ah, turn your eyes; 'twould draw a tear,
4 Knew you my helpless state.
5 Far from my home, no parents I
6 Am ever doom'd to see;
7 My master, should I sue to him,
8 He'd flog the skin from me.
9 Ah, deareft Madam, dearest Sir,
10 Have pity on my youth;
11 Tho' black, and cover'd o'er with rags,
12 I tell you nought but truth.
[Page 23]
13 My feeble limbs, benumb'd with cold,
14 Totter beneath the fack,
15 Which ere the morning dawn appears
16 Is loaded on my back.
17 My legs you see are burnt and bruis'd,
18 My feet are gall'd by stones,
19 My flesh for lack of food is gone,
20 I'm little else but bones.
21 Yet still my master makes me work,
22 Nor spares me day or night;
23 His 'prentice boy he says I am,
24 And he will have his right.
25 "Up to the highest top," he cries,
26 There call out chimney-sweep! "
27 With panting heart and weeping eyes
28 Trembling I upwards creep.
[Page 24]
29 But stop! no more I see him come;
30 Kind Sir, remember me!
31 Oh, could I hide me under ground,
32 How thankful should I be!


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Genres: complaint

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Source edition

Alcock [née Cumberland], Mary, 1741?–1798. Poems, &c. &c. by the Late Mrs. Mary Alcock [poems only]. London: Printed for C. Dilly, Poultry, 1799, pp. 22-24. vii,[25],183,[1]p. (ESTC T86344) (Page images digitized by University of Michigan Library.)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Mary Alcock (née Cumberland)