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Spider Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt
  2. A Cobweb Made to Order by Aunt Effie
  3. Cobwebs by Anonymous
  4. The Spider by Emily Dickinson
  5. Cobwebs by Emily Dickinson
  6. The Parlour and the Fly by John B. Tabb
  7. A Rainbow Foundation by Anonymous
  8. Pretty is That Pretty Does by Alice Cary
  9. The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Anonymous
  10. Range-Finding by Robert Frost
  11. A Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman

  1. The Spider and the Fly

    by Mary Howitt

    "Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly.
    "'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy;
    The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
    And I have many curious things to show when you are there."
    "Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "to ask me is in vain;
    For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

    "I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
    Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the Spider to the Fly.
    "There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin;
    And if you like to rest a while, I'll snugly tuck you in!"
    "Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "for I've often heard it said,
    They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!"

    Said the cunning Spider to the Fly, "Dear friend, what can I do
    To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you?
    I have, within my pantry, good store of all that's nice;
    I'm sure you're very welcome—will you please to take a slice?"
    "Oh no, no," said the little Fly, "kind sir, that cannot be,
    I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see!"

    "Sweet creature," said the Spider, "you're witty and you're wise;
    How handsome are your gauzy wings, how brilliant are your eyes!
    I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf;
    If you'll step in one moment, dear, you shall behold yourself."
    "I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say,
    And bidding you good morning now, I'll call another day."

    The Spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
    For well he knew the silly Fly would soon be back again;
    So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
    And set his table ready to dine upon the Fly.
    Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing,—
    "Come hither, hither, pretty Fly, with the pearl and silver wing;
    Your robes are green and purple, there's a crest upon your head;
    Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead."

    Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little Fly,
    Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by:
    With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,—
    Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, and green and purple hue;
    Thinking only of her crested head—poor foolish thing! At last,
    Up jumped the cunning Spider, and fiercely held her fast.
    He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den
    Within his little parlor—but she ne'er came out again!

    And now, dear little children, who may this story read,
    To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed;
    Unto an evil counsellor close heart, and ear, and eye,
    And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

  2. A Cobweb Made to Order

    by Aunt Effie

    I.
    A hungry Spider made a web
    Of thread so very fine,
    Your tiny fingers scarce could feel
    The little slender line.
    Round-about, and round-about,
    And round-about it spun,
    Straight across and back again,
    Until the web was done.

    II.
    Oh, what a pretty shining web
    It was, when it was done!
    The little flies all came to see
    It hanging in the sun.
    Round-about, and round-about,
    And round-about they danced,
    Across the web and back again
    They darted and they glanced.

    III.
    The hungry Spider sat and watched
    The happy little flies;
    It saw all round about its head,
    It had so many eyes.
    Round-about, and round-about,
    And round-about they go,
    Across the web and back again,
    Now high—now low.

    IV.
    "I am hungry, very hungry,"
    Said the Spider to a fly.
    "If you were caught within the web,
    You very soon should die."
    But round-about, and round-about,
    And round-about, once more,
    Across the web and back again
    They flitted as before.

    V.
    For all the flies were much too wise
    To venture near the Spider;
    They flapped their little wings and flew
    In circles rather wider.
    Round-about, and round-about,
    And round about went they,
    Across the web and back again,
    And then they flew away.

  3. Cobwebs

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Little fairy kerchiefs
    Spread on the grass to dry;
    Little fairy hammocks
    Swinging in branches high.

    Funny fairy cables
    Stretched through the airy sea;
    Funny fairy bridges
    Reaching from tree to tree.

    Dainty fairy ladders
    Scaling the garden wall,
    Dainty net to catch them,—
    If fairies ever fall!

    Busy fairy workman,
    Spider of gorgeous hue,
    Should I steal your glue-pot,
    What would the fairies do?

  4. The Spider

    by Emily Dickinson

    A spider sewed at night
    Without a light
    Upon an arc of white.
    If ruff it was of dame
    Or shroud of gnome,
    Himself, himself inform.
    Of immortality
    His strategy
    Was physiognomy.

  5. Cobwebs

    by Emily Dickinson

    The spider as an artist
    Has never been employed
    Though his surpassing merit
    Is freely certified

    By every broom and Bridget
    Throughout a Christian land.
    Neglected son of genius,
    I take thee by the hand.

  6. The Parlour and the Fly

    by John B. Tabb

    "Will you walk into the Spider?"
    Said the Parlour to the Fly;
    "He's the emptiest little spider
    That ever you did spy.

    "And he covers me with cobweb;
    So I want you to go in;
    For—his lower chamber furnished—
    He will have no room to spin."

  7. A Rainbow Foundation

    by Anonymous

    Once a spider built a cobweb on a rainbow bright and gay,
    For she thought its brilliant colors would entice her lawful prey.
    But, alas! the sun descended, and the bright bow was no more.
    And the weeping, webless spider was left homeless as before.
    "After this," I heard her mutter to herself, "I'll be content
    With foundations not so showy, but more firm and permanent!"

  8. 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.

  9. The Itsy Bitsy Spider

    by Anonymous

    The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the waterspout.
    Down came the rain
    and washed the spider out.
    Out came the sun
    and dried up all the rain
    and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

  10. Range-Finding

    by Robert Frost

    The battle rent a cobweb diamond-strung
    And cut a flower beside a ground bird’s nest
    Before it stained a single human breast.
    The stricken flower bent double and so hung.
    And still the bird revisited her young.
    A butterfly its fall had dispossessed
    A moment sought in air his flower of rest,
    Then lightly stooped to it and fluttering clung.

    On the bare upland pasture there had spread
    O’ernight ’twixt mullein stalks a wheel of thread
    And straining cables wet with silver dew.
    A sudden passing bullet shook it dry.
    The indwelling spider ran to greet the fly,
    But finding nothing, sullenly withdrew.

  11. A Noiseless Patient Spider

    by Walt Whitman

    A noiseless patient spider,
    I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
    Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
    It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
    Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

    And you O my soul where you stand,
    Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
    Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
    Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
    Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.