The weedy, asthmatic, fey and trembling poet Dennis Beerpint has, I am afraid to say, been caught red-handed in an act of blatant plagiarism. The title piece in his latest slim volume of twee verse, Swamp Demons, And Other Demons, And Other Swamps, has been copied word for word from the August-September 1936 issue of Weird Tales magazine, where it was correctly ascribed to the writer C A Butz. Reclining on a divan, feeling faintly ill, Beerpint has refused to comment on his act of poetic perfidy. Here is Butz’s original verse.
The lights that wink across the sodden moor
Like phosphorescent eyes that beckon men
To risk fell footsteps in the treacherous fen,
And sink in loathsome muck, without a spoor —
What ghosts of former days, what dread allure,
Abides within this subterranean den?
Or, reaching out, snares victims to its ken,
With wraith-like fingers, to a peril sure?
‘Tis told that evil things lurk out of sight
With human bones that fester in the ooze;
Belike ’tis true, these bones that once were clothed
In fleshly form now harbour deadly spite
Against the living, and this swamp still brews
Within its bubbling depths the curse men loathed
Before they turned to leprous Things of Night!