[A Preface and a Piracy]
OF borrow’d plumes I take the sin,
My extracts will apply
To some few silly songs which in
These pages scatter’d lie.
The words are Edgar Allan Poe’s,
As any man may see,
But what a Poe-t wrote in prose,
Shall make blank verse for me.
THESE trifles are collected and republished, chiefly with a view to their redemption from the many improvements to which they have been subjected while going at random the rounds of the press. I am naturally anxious that what I have written should circulate as I wrote it, if it circulate at all. . . .In defence of my own taste, nevertheless, it is incumbent upon me to say that I think nothing in this volume of much value to the public, or very creditable to myself.
E. A. P.
(See Preface to Poe’s Poetical Works)
And now that my theft stands detected,
The first of my extracts may call
To some of the rhymes here collected
Your notice, the second to all.
Ah ! friend, you may shake your head sadly,
Yet this much you’ll say for my verse,
I’ve written of old something badly,
But written anew something worse.
Published in 'Sea Spray and Smoke Drift' (1867).