Poem: "Ars Longa, Lodger Brevis" by Nero

He came to stay, across the way. The landlady was proudly gay,
   For he was no "rough workin' man,"
But read a book with studious look, or p'raps a pen and paper took
   To give his wondrous thoughts a plan.

For he was learned. 'Twas said he earned much gold by verse that in him burned;
   He toned the squalid street anew,
When he would go with footstep slow, and meditating brow and low,
   Past, when the evening odors blew.

"There goes ther pote," with awestruck note, would slip the gaping youngster's throat,
   As by their shabby cots he went;
And maidens too, brown-eyed and blue, blushed shyly as he sauntered through
   With weight of inspiration bent.

But lack-a-day! It's say to say what happened one regretful day,
   Or rather night. His dreamy eye
Forgot to dream, as it would seem, for, ere the morn's most youthful beam,
   He'd flown, and left his rent-bill high.

First published in The Bulletin, 16 July 1908

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 6, 2008 8:10 AM.

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