Source: Billy Cedeno from Pixabay 

In the first ‘The Chimney Sweeper’ from William Blake’s ‘Songs of Innocence’, a little boy is recounting the story of his despairing life as well as the sad tales of other chimney sweeper boys named Tom Dacre, Dick, Joe Ned & Jack. Tom saw in his dream that other chimney sweepers named Dick, Joe, Ned and Jack were dead and their bodies were lying in caged coffins, made of black wood. He in his dream saw that an Angel with a shining key approached near the coffins. The Angel opened the coffins and set all the corpses of the little chimney sweepers free. Then the little children ran down a green field, washed in river water and dried themselves in the sunlight to give out a clean shine. Though the little chimney sweepers got emancipation from the fetters of child labour in the poem in dream, in reality this social curse still exists more cruelly even after more than two centuries of the publication of the poem. In my poem I have recollected the names of those ill-fated chimney sweepers who seem have returned to mock our so-called civilized society.

The warm touch of the soft sunbeams
Never wakes me up from sleep.
It is the shrillness of the factory siren
That unfurls my eyelids from deep.
Or while scavenging the roadside waste
The cawing of the crows commoves my ears
To wake me up at dawn and
To pick up the rags strewn everywhere.
Or the tea-stall owner or the hotelman
Yells with brusque voice abusively
“Oh! Bustard’s fry
How long will you be blearily?”
From stone queries to motor garages,
From brick kilns to fireworks factories
Where am I not?
I am even forced to advance in the battle field
To be the victim of the mines or the first enemy shots.
I work from morn to night with my soft but nimble limbs
For a paltry pay.
I am taught from the very beginning
That I have no right for anything to say.
Politicians shed crocodile’s tears
Mocking my fate.
For I have no right to vote
Posing for them to be a threat.
Salty sweat after day long toil
Makes my food sweet.
I am a real earner of the family
To fetch some morsels to eat.
When other children run after butterflies
Or while away reading Tintin
I am really a grown up child
Though I am yet to be fourteen.
Oh! Tom Dacre, the chimney sweeper,
And Dick, Joe, Ned and Jack
Cursed with the chagrin of child labor,
I have really come back.

.    .    .