Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Spider and the Fly

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly;
"Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.
The way to my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many 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'd like to rest a while, I'll snuggly 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 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'd 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 spun him round and about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon come back again:
So he wove a subtle web in a little corner sly,
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly;
Then came out to his door again and merrily did sing:
"Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with pearl and silver wing:
Your robes are green and purple; there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead!"
Alas, alas! how very soon little fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
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 the 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 heed;
Unto an evil councellor close heart and ear and eye,
And takea lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.

poem by Mary Howitt art by Tony DiTerlizzi


Blogger Mephistopheles said...

I love that poem! :)

5:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home