Lyrics of the Hearthside

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Garret

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1913
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Dunbar, P.L. (1913). The Complete Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.5
  • Word Count: 205
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: attic, happiness, writing
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Within a London garret high,
Above the roofs and near the sky,
My ill–rewarding pen I ply

To win me bread.
This little chamber, six by four,
Is castle, study, den, and more,—
Altho’ no carpet decks the floor,
Nor down, the bed.
My room is rather bleak and bare;
I only have one broken chair,
But then, there’s plenty of fresh air,—

Some light, beside.
What tho’ I cannot ask my friends
To share with me my odds and ends,
A liberty my aerie lends,
To most denied.
The bore who falters at the stair
No more shall be my curse and care,
And duns shall fail to find my lair

With beastly bills.
When debts have grown and funds are short,
I find it rather pleasant sport
To live “above the common sort”
With all their ills.
I write my rhymes and sing away,
And dawn may come or dusk or day:
Tho’ fare be poor, my heart is gay.

And full of glee.
Though chimney–pots be all my views;
‘T is nearer for the winging Muse,
So I am sure she ‘ll not refuse
To visit me.