CHIMNEY-SWEEPERS—ANOTHER NAME FOR DANDELIONS. The last lines of this stanza of a song from Cymbeline are often thought to refer to dandelions:
Fear no more the heat o’ the sun
Nor the furious winters’ 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.
Patrick Kurp in this post points out that A.D.Nuttall says that he hopes that the lines don’t refer to dandelions. I looked up Nuttall and found that he thinks of dandelions as golden flowers. Kurp gives what I think is the explanation, telling the story of a countryman in Warwickshire “blowing the grey head off a dandelion [and saying]: `We call these golden boy chimney-sweepers when they go to seed.â€™â€