From a Garret Window

Abel woke at his table, the unfinished manuscript beneath him and his pen alongside, its nib dry. A leather cup lay at hand; instinctively, he snatched it up and drank dregs of sour ale.

“Damn you!” he cried, spluttering, and flung away the vessel. “Whore of Babylon that murdered my muse!”

Nauseated, he rose to thrust his head out of the window and vomited copiously, narrowly missing the butcher’s lad who was dragging a bullock towards the slaughter yard below, its hooves scuffling frantically on the cobbles. The boy cursed him, and a woman across the way gave him a reproving look before throwing a bucket of slops into the street.

But he took no heed, for he had seen her, across the square.

Oh sweet Daphne, he thought, thy countenance doth shine like the sun.

His eyes wandered to her bosom.

That those gibbous orbs would wax full in the night of my bed chamber and light the way to thy cuckoo’s nest…

His felt his flesh respond; his quill filled with ink. With new purpose, he sat down to write.

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