I sometimes take words that were first used by others
(I'm About to admit I'm a bit of a crook)
Re-hash and re-use them, and make my own covers-
Stealing little known lines from an eloquent book.
I've stolen from Shakespeare, yanked words off of Yeats,
And pilfered from Plato and Brown;
I've probably swiped stuff off all of the greats,
And many of zero renown.
There's more to be heard in the wise words of Wilde
Or took from a Tennyson line
Or the thinking out loud of an inquisitive child,
Than could spill forth from this pen of mine.
So if I've stolen from you, and perchance have offended,
(Yes- I'm about to steal Shakespeare again)
Just think but this, and all is mended;
Nothing original came from my pen.
Which means that, eventually, all that I've ever done
Will be lost in the shadows of time,
Skipped over, or lost, and simply outdone
By your works original shine.
For the record- I do try and admit to my word thievery when I'm aware of it. So much of it's unconscious though, that I doubt I'll ever know of all the occassions I've done it.