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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

To a Spider

By Samuel Low (b. 1765)

[Poems. By Samuel Low. 1800.]

I LIKE thee not, Arachne; thou art base,

Perfidious, merciless, and full of guile;

Cruel and false, like many of our race,

Voracious as the monster of the Nile.

Thou villain insect! well do I perceive

The treacherous web thy murderous fangs have wrought,

And yet so fine and subtle dost thou weave,

That heedless innocence perceives it not.

E’en now I see thee sit, pretending sleep,

Yet dost thou eager watch the livelong day,

With squinting eyes, which never knew to weep;

Prepared to spring upon unguarded prey.

Ill fares it with the unwary little fly,

Or gnat, ensnared by thy insidious loom;

In thy envenomed jaws the wretch must die;

To glut thy loathsome carcass is his doom!

Instinctive is my terror at thy sight;

Oft, ugly reptile, have I shunned thy touch;

Nor do I wonder thou should’st thus affright,

Since thou resemblest vicious man so much.

Like him thy touch, thy very look, can blight;

But not the Spider species dost thou kill;

While, spite of duty, e’en in God’s despite,

“Man is to man the surest, sorest ill.”