Poem: The Man Next Door by Kodak (Ernest O'Ferrall)

Fragments of song around me lie,
   Fair ballads of delight,
Sweet things an editor would buy
   And treasure at first sight;
All broken now, they're but a heap
   Of paper on the floor.
(Some night, armed with an axe, I'll leap
   Upon the fiend next door!)

Whene'er a verse I try to write,
   Or spin a story gay,
There comes a howling in the night
   That chases thought away;
Then, throwing down the pen, I call
   Down curses on his roar.
(Some night, with daggers three, I'll fall
   On him who shrieks next door!)

If I am feeling fit and well,
   And forth the inkpot bring,
He gives a wild and dismal yell
   And starts his bellowing.
I glare upon him from above
   As round his room he prowls,
While all the songs I most do love
   He mangles into howls.

The golden guineas fade away,
   The bailiff waits without;
I curse each agonising bray,
   I curse each empty shout;
My pen is still, my brain is numb,
   My senses sick and sore.
(I've asked for something swift to come
   And slay the Noise next door!)

First published in The Bulletin, 16 July 1908

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 18, 2008 8:08 AM.

Reprint: Australian Essays was the previous entry in this blog.

Margo Lanagan Interview is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en