This is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful poems of the Age of Enlightment that describes childhood during the Eighteenth Century. The author tried to transmit how children suffered and the effects their suffering had on their parents´ lives. In those times, children were forced to work, because they were supposed to be profitable for the nation. They had to undergo lots of troubles, leaving aside their childhood and becoming adults. They had to work many hours a day in terrible conditions.
William Blake showed through this poem the cruelty of that century from the point of view of the weaker protagonists. He reflected his own opinion about society at that time and pictured a strong feeling of disagreement to the ruling classes.
If you are studying the society of this historical period, you should read this poem in order to have another perspective of the situation taking in to account the feelings of lower classes.