Monday 9 January 2012


'Fear no more the heat o' the sun,
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust...'

So begins the beautiful funeral song from Cymbeline. What I didn't know, until I came across it in Richard Mabey's book Weeds (which I'm reading now, with great enjoyment), is that 'chimney-sweepers' was, in Shakespeare's time, 'Warwickshire patois for the wind-scattered, time-telling "clocks" that follow dandelions' golden flowers'. Suddenly, with this knowledge, Shakespeare's image gains new depths of meaning, and new immediacy.


  1. Lovely, Nige, isn't it? Here was my take almost five years ago:

  2. Thank you, Nigeness. This was something I didn't know and I am glad to have a new perspective. Always something to learn from Mr Shakespeare!

  3. I love reading your chimney-sweepers it indeed rhymed, and it's good. I'm also glad reading your other articles, and I find your blog informative too.

    chimney service