When the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.
‘Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of night arise;
Come, come leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies.’
‘No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all cover'd with sheep.’
‘Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed.’
The little ones leapèd, and shoutèd, and laugh'd
And all the hills echoèd.
It looks as if Blake, back in 1789, understood the needs and desires of some of today’s Eleven Plus children. There may, possibly, be times in the lives of a number of eleven plus children when playing outside with friends could be infinitely more desirable than sitting down to an eleven plus paper.
In the first verse we can see the contented mother – happy that she has done as much as possible towards helping her child prepare for the eleven plus. She calls her children in to work and of course the eleven plus child appeals for a little more time outside. Who wins in the end? The eleven plus child, of course.
Children have to be able to win some battles – even if they are only little wars or skirmishes.