The Little Vagabond

By William Blake 1757–1827 William Blake
Dear Mother, dear Mother, the Church is cold,
But the Ale-house is healthy & pleasant & warm;
Besides I can tell where I am use'd well,
Such usage in heaven will never do well.

   But if at the Church they would give us some Ale. 
And a pleasant fire, our souls to regale; 
We'd sing and we'd pray, all the live-long day; 
Nor ever once wish from the Church to stray, 

   Then the Parson might preach & drink & sing. 
And we'd be as happy as birds in the spring: 
And modest dame Lurch, who is always at Church,
Would not have bandy children nor fasting nor birch.

   And God like a father rejoicing to see, 
His children as pleasant and happy as he: 
Would have no more quarrel with the Devil or the Barrel 
But kiss him & give him both drink and apparel.

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Poet William Blake 1757–1827

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Social Commentaries, Eating & Drinking, Class, Religion, Activities, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Simile

 William  Blake

Biography

In his Life of William Blake (1863) Alexander Gilchrist warned his readers that Blake "neither wrote nor drew for the many, hardly for work'y-day men at all, rather for children and angels; himself 'a divine child,' whose playthings were sun, moon, and stars, the heavens and the earth." Yet Blake himself believed that his writings were of national importance and that they could be understood by a majority of men. Far from being . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Social Commentaries, Eating & Drinking, Class, Religion, Activities, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Simile

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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