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The Spider
by
Jane Taylor


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"Oh, look at that great ugly spider!" said Ann;
And screaming, she brush'd it away with her fan;
"'Tis a frightful black creature as ever can be,
I wish that it would not come crawling on me. "

"Indeed," said her mother, "I'll venture to say,
The poor thing will try to keep out of your way;
For after the fright, and the fall, and the pain,
It has much more occasion than you to complain.

"But why should you dread the poor insect, my dear?
If it hurt you, there'd be some excuse for your fear;
But its little black legs, as it hurried away,
Did but tickle your arm, as they went, I dare say.

"For them to fear us we must grant to be just,
Who in less than a moment can tread them to dust;
But certainly we have no cause for alarm;
For, were they to try, they could do us no harm.

"Now look! it has got to its home; do you see
What a delicate web it has spun in the tree?
Why here, my dear Ann, is a lesson for you:
Come learn from this spider what patience can do!

"And when at your business you're tempted to play,
Recollect what you see in this insect to-day,
Or else, to your shame, it may seem to be true,
That a poor little spider is wiser than you. " 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

 
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Jane Taylor (1783-1824) was a British poet primarily known for her children’s verse. She is the author of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” arguably the world’s best know nursery rhyme. Born into a literary family, she wrote a broad body of work, though much of it remained unpublished while she was alive. Jane died of breast cancer at the age of forty.

  

 


Post New Comment:
Dorcas:
Delightfully sensitive. Loaded with the wisdom of creation and each web has a unique pattern. Nature is planned to be wise in its own way, and yet we sweep the cobwebs away?
Posted 06/30/2014 05:59 PM
Katrina:
I love the assonance in the last line.
Posted 06/30/2014 04:35 AM
Ross Kightly:
This charming moral-heavy piece of Victoriana is so delightful that it would be churlish of me to point out to the poet - even if she were to be around to listen - that a spider is an arachnid not an insect... and that as an Englishwoman she is probably correct about spiders' harmlessness. But as an ex-patriated Australian I can assure her that the same is not true of the Sydney Funnel-web or the ubiquitous Redback spiders. 'There have been no fatalities since 1981'. Use of antivenoms not nice spiders! However, spider webs can be pretty. No more from Pedant's Corner just for now!
Posted 06/30/2014 12:37 AM


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