Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SPIDER AND THE FLY, by MARY HOWITT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SPIDER AND THE FLY, by             Poem Explanation         Poet's Biography
First Line: Will you walk into my parlor?' said the spider to the fly
Last Line: The fly.
Alternate Author Name(s): Botham, Mary
Subject(s): Flattery; Insects; Spiders; Vanity; Bugs

"WILL YOU walk into my parlor?" said the spider
to the fly;
"'T is the prettiest little parlor that ever you did
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
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
Said the cunning spider to the fly: "Dear friend,
what can I do
To prove the warm affection I've always felt for
I have within my pantry good store of all that's
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
"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 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
"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 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 the
dismal dell --
Within his little parlor -- but she ne'er came out
And now, dear little children, who may this story
To idle, silly, flattering words I pray you ne'er
give heed;
Unto an evil counsellor close heart and ear and
And take a lesson from this tale of the spider and
the fly.

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