My Army, O, My Army! and Other Songs

Interlude. Next Door

Henry Lawson

WHENEVER I’m moving my furniture in
    Or shifting my furniture out—
Which is nearly as often and risky as Sin
    In these days of shifting about—
There isn’t a stretcher, there isn’t a stick,
    Nor a mat that belongs to the floor;
There isn’t a pot (Oh, my heart groweth sick!)
    That escapes from the glare of Next Door!
    The Basilisk Glare of Next Door.

Be it morn, noon or night—be it early or late;
    Be it summer or winter or spring,
I cannot sneak down just to list at the gate
    For the song that the bottle-ohs sing;
With some bottles to sell that shall bring me a beer,
    And lead up to one or two more;
But I feel in my backbone the serpentine sneer,
    And the Basilisk Glare of Next Door.
    The political woman Next Door.

I really can’t say, being no one of note,
    Why she glares at my odds and my ends,
Excepting, maybe, I’m a frivolous Pote,
    With one or two frivolous friends,
Who help me to shift and to warm up the house
    For three or four glad hours or more,
In a suburb that hasn’t the soul of a louse;
    And they’ve got no respect for Next Door!
    They don’t give a damn for Next Door.

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