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!)

More verses by Ernest O'Ferrall