The little Vagabond (Notebook)

For works with similar titles, see The Little Vagabond.


  1. "Blake Complete Writings", ed. Geoffrey Keynes, pub. OUP 1966/85, p. 179-180.
  2. In the final version: "Such usage in heaven will never do well".
Notebook 45a - The little Vagabond
Notebook 45b - The little Vagabond

The little [A pretty del.] Vagabond [1]

Dear mother, Dear Mother, the church is cold
But the alehouse is healthy & pleasant & warm;
Besides I can tell where I am us'd well.
[Such usage in heaven makes all go to hell. del.]
The poor parsons with wind like a blown bladder swell.[2]

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 livelong 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, [that joys for del.] rejoicing to see
His children as pleasant & happy as he,
Would have no more quarrel with the devil or the Barrel,
[But shake hands & kiss him & there'd be no more hell. del.]
But kiss him & give him both [food del.] drink & apparel.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.