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English Literature

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The poem

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London

I wander through each chartered street,Near where the chartered Thames does flow,A mark in every face I meet,Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

In every cry of every man,In every infant's cry of fear,In every voice, in every ban,The mind-forged manacles I hear:

How the chimney-sweeper's cryEvery blackening church appals,And the hapless soldier's sighRuns in blood down palace-walls.

But most, through midnight streets I hearHow the youthful harlot's curseBlasts the new-born infant's tear,And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.

Drawing of the London poor at Christmas time

Picture courtesy of Mary Evans Picture Library

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