August Derleth: Incubus

She said,

A creeping, crawling thing had lain

Each night upon the counterpane …


They said,

It could not be, it only seemed

To be; she had but dreamed …


She said,

Sometimes at night she felt its breath,

Fetid like the breath of death …


They said,

Hallucination without question;

She must be treated by suggestion …


They wore her nerves down by suggestion,

For hallucination without question,

And were amazed one dawn to find her dead,

With marks upon the pillow and the bed

As if some creeping, crawling thing had lain

All night beside her on the counterpane.


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