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Pretty is That Pretty Does

by Alice Cary

The spider wears a plain brown dress,
And she is a steady spinner;
To see her, quiet as a mouse,
Going about her silver house,
You would never, never, never guess
The way she gets her dinner.

She looks as if no thought of ill
In all her life had stirred her;
But while she moves with careful tread, And
while she spins her silken thread,
She is planning, planning, planning still
The way to do some murder.

My child, who reads this simple lay,
With eyes down-dropt and tender, Remember
the old proverb says
That pretty is which pretty does,
And that worth does not go nor stay
For poverty nor splendor.

'Tis not the house, and not the dress,
That makes the saint or sinner.
To see the spider sit and spin,
Shut with her walls of silver in,
You would never, never, never guess
The way she gets her dinner.