Little Dame Spider had finished her spinning,
Just as the warm summer day was beginning,
And the white threads of her beautiful curtain
Tied she and glued she to make them more certain.
Dressed in her old-fashioned feathers and fringes,
Then she sat down to wait; on silken hinges
Swung the light fleece with a moonshiny glisten;
Nothing for her but to watch and to listen.
Presently, going off early to labor,--
Bowing politely, as neighbor to neighbor,
When he caught sight of this little old woman,--
Sailed by a honey-bee, serge-clad and common.
"Are you so scornful because I am humble?
Many a time your rich relatives, Bumble,
Pause in their flying to chat for an hour!"
She called out after him, half gay, half sour.
"O, no," he cried. "I am off to discover
What I can find fresh in the way of white clover;
But since your window is cosy and shady,
I will sit down half a minute, dear Lady."
Little Dame Spider arose with a rustle,
Welcomed him with ceremonious bustle;
Quick as a flash threw her long arms around him,
Heeded no buzzing, but held him and bound him;
Tied knots so tight that he could not undo them;
Wove snares so strong that he could not break through them;
Then, with a relish, stood chuckling and grinning,
"This is to pay me for my early spinning!"
At the home-hive the bees going and coming
Kept up all day their industrious humming,
Nor did it one of their busy heads bother
That Madame Spider had dined off their brother.