�Twas late last night as I sat in my chair
Up in the lonely bachelor lair,
Toasting my toes and scenting the air
With a meerschaum�s soft perfume;
Though cosy at times that smoky old den,
That fraction of home for the singlest of men,
I fancied an air it had, just then,
Of dull discomfort and gloom.
The curtains hung down in dingy strings,
Rank pipes lay around and shabby things
Which the dainty poet never sings,
Nor, save when forced by the rhyme e�er
Into his polished verses.
The walls were cracked and the prints hung
Loose papers around were a pain to the eye,
In the dust so thick any housewife would try
With the tip of her finger to write on the sly
�Rebuke to the sloven,� or over it fly
Out into long discourses.
I was testy in fact and moody I knew,
And felt that an imp as big and as blue
As Hypo e�er mounted or sick fancy drew