Famous Children Poem

"The Spider and the Fly" is a poem by Mary Howitt (1799-1888), published in 1828. The story tells of a cunning Spider who ensnares a Fly through the use of seduction and flattery. The poem teaches children to be wary against those who use flattery and charm to disguise their true evil intentions. The gruesome ending in this cautionary tale is used to reinforce the important life lesson being taught.

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This is a beautiful poem, very beautiful! It can as well be a warning to school girls who are prone to dating those men out there. Symbolically, the spider in the poem is a male and the fly...

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Famous Poem

The Spider And The Fly

Mary Howitt By more Mary Howitt

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly;
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may 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.
Well 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'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 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 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 this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily, flattering words, came slowly flitting by;
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer grew,
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 give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart and ear and eye,
And take a lesson from this tale of the spider and the fly.


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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Bev Viljoen by Bev Viljoen
  • 4 years ago

This poem takes me back to my childhood We had to recite a poem every fortnight, and one of my friends recited this one, and then we had a discussion on it.

  • Omadang Yowasi by Omadang Yowasi
  • 4 years ago

This is a beautiful poem, very beautiful! It can as well be a warning to school girls who are prone to dating those men out there. Symbolically, the spider in the poem is a male and the fly is a female. This is through the poet's use of (He) referring to the spider and (She) referring to the fly.

  • Zeenat  Rahman by Zeenat Rahman
  • 4 years ago

It is a beautiful poem with a well-defined moral. The poet's use of analogy is unique. This poem is timeless. The lesson learned here can be applied in any scenario.

This poem is simple yet beautiful. Reminds me of "the little fish that would not do as it was bid." It teaches a great lesson and not just for kids. We all should beware of flatteries.

  • Brittany Rivera by Brittany Rivera
  • 6 years ago

Wow, this is an awesome poem. I really like it. Just an awesome one.

  • Julia Flores by Julia Flores
  • 6 years ago

This poem has reminded me about the wolf in sheep's skin. It's a great way to teach our children to think about the intentions of others even though they can be nice. To think about consequences if they were to give in to someone's request! We can be shrewd to be safe to not let others force a decision. And stay strong in saying no to strangers, or even people around us who may ask us to do something out of the normal. And not let them get in our heads, because the warnings about them should be considered. We should stay away from those we are warned not to associate. We can be careful and cautious on the spot from deception! In this poem was a great description of what could be, and what will happen if we were to ignore the signs. I will share it with my friends and family thank you.

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