A Celebration of Women Writers

"George and the Chimney-Sweep." by Adelaid O'Keefe (1776-1855)
Publication: Taylor, Jane & Taylor, Ann. Little Ann and Other Poems. London, New York: George Routledge & Sons, 1883. pp. 29-30.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

GEORGE AND THE CHIMNEY-SWEEP.

HIS petticoats now George cast off,
  For he ws four years old;
His trousers were of nankeen stuff,
  With buttons bright as gold.
"May I, " said George, "just go abroad,
  My pretty clothes to show?
May I, mamma? but speak the word;"
  The answer was, "No, no."

"Go, run below, George, in the court,
  But go not in the street,
Lest boys with you should make some sport,
  Or gipsies you should meet. "
Yet, though forbidden, he went out,
  That other boys might spy,
And proudly there he walk'd about,
  And thought–"How fine am I!"

[Page 30]

But whilst he strutted through the street,
  With looks both vain and pert,
A sweep-boy pass'd, whom not to meet,
  He slipp'd–into the dirt.
The sooty lad, whose heart was kind,
  To help him quickly ran,
And grasp'd his arm, with–"Never mind,
  You're up, my little man."

Sweep wiped his clothes with labour vain,
  And begg'd him not to cry;
And when he'd blacken'd every stain,
  Said, "Little sir, good-bye. "
Poor George, almost as dark as sweep,
  And smear'd in dress and face,
Bemoans with sobs, both loud and deep,
  His well-deserved disgrace.

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Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom