I dwelt within the shell of youth
And thought to live forever;
But when I hinged the roof, in truth,
It scarce kept out the weather.
I cobbled up a house of blues
In Northwood Hills and Pinner;
Drunkards danced, but did not choose
To buy me beer or dinner.
I crept aboard a ship of fools
With freedom at the mizzen;
The bailiffs came with writs and rules
And threw us into prison.
I helped erect a tent of bliss,
Our free-love spirits soaring;
No sooner had we snatched a kiss
Than innocence went whoring.
I staked a claim and dug a mine
The fruit of filthy labour;
Then sat and watched the cables whine
Above my hungry neighbour.
I built myself a monstrous tower,
Its turrets vast and sprawling;
Alone, each minute seemed an hour,
And madness came a-calling.
Bright bees of verse about me buzz,
My hall is wide and handsome;
But handsome is as handsome does,
With conscience held to ransom.