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William Blake was a poet who was born in the eighteenth century. In this worksheet you can read two of his poems and answer questions on them.

 

Remember that you can look back at the poems as often as you like by clicking on the Help button.

 

 

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The Echoing Green

 Boys playing cricket

 

The sun does arise,

And make happy the skies; 

The merry bells ring

To welcome the spring.

The skylark and thrush,

The birds of the bush,

Sing louder around

To the bell's cheerful sound,

While our sports shall be seen

On the Echoing Green.

 

Old John with white hair,

Does laugh away care,

Sitting under the oak,

Among the old folk.

They laugh at our play,

And soon they all say:

"Such, such were the joys

When we all, girls and boys,

In our youth time were seen

On the Echoing Green."

 

Till the little ones weary

No more can be merry;

The sun does descend,

And our sports have an end.

Round the laps of their mother

Many sisters and brothers,

Like birds in their nest,

Are ready for rest;

And sport no more seen

On the darkening green.

 

 

 

 

The Chimney Sweeper

 

When my mother died I was very young,

And my father sold me while yet my tongue

Could scarcely cry " 'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!"

So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.

 

 

There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head

 

That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved, so I said,

"Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head's bare,

You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair."

 

And so he was quiet, & that very night,

As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!

That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,

Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;

 

And by came an Angel who had a bright key,

And he opened the coffins & set them all free;

Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,

And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.

 

Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,

They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.

And the Angel told Tom, if he'd be a good boy,

He'd have God for his father & never want joy.

 

And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark

And got with our bags & our brushes to work.

Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;

So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

 

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10 questions