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spider and the fly...
Posted by: abellamy (---.tnt3.nashua.nh.da.uu.net)
Date: December 24, 2001 11:52AM

can anyone help me find the author of this poem. It was in an American Poetry book from High School and I can not find it anywhere, by the title.

Happy Holidays to all.


Re: spider and the fly...
Posted by: abellamy (---.tnt3.nashua.nh.da.uu.net)
Date: December 24, 2001 12:08PM

this may help jog someones memory but I am not sure of all the words:

I once loved a spider when I was born a fly
A velvet footed spider with a rainbow coat of dye
She led me to her parlor above a winding stair.
........................................................................
...................................She bound me with a hair
To educate young spiders she took me all apart
...........
I saw her eat my heart.

that is all I remember from it. Thank You.


Re: spider and the fly...
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: December 24, 2001 07:01PM

Here's the original poem. See below the poem for a Lewis Carroll bit based on it.

=========================

The Spider & The Fly
by Mary Howitt
found at:
[www.ongoing-tales.com] />
"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.


==============

The opening lines of the "Lobster Quadrille" in ALICE IN WONDERLAND is an echo of the first lines of "Spider & Fly."


“Will you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
“There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.


Re: spider and the fly...
Posted by: fluffy (---.dialinx.net)
Date: January 03, 2002 04:22AM

marian--i must say, i was not aware of the connection between "the spider and the fly" and the "lobster quadrille." it makes sense, though; it follows all those other poemy paralelly things that carroll did throughout the alice books. i knew the "lobster quadrille" was running with something, but i didn't know what it was. thanks. :-)


Re: spider and the fly...
Posted by: marian222 (86.153.107.---)
Date: July 04, 2007 04:11AM

I've finally found the poem originally requested - I've had it a week or so but the site has been down and before that I couldn't log on - despite being given 2 new passwords. Hence my 3rd e-mule Id Marian2 became Marian22 is now Marian222, and I've no idea if it will work more than once.

Anyway, if abellamy is still looking after five and a half years, and if s/he isn't the person who posted it elsewhere on the web, here it is:

I once loved a spider
When I was born a fly,
A velvet footed spider
With a gown of rainbow dye.

She ate my wings and gloated,
She bound me with a hair,
She drove me to her parlor,
And up her winding stair.

To educate her young,
She took me all apart,
My ghost came back to haunt her,
I saw her eat my heart.

Not sure the game was worth the candle, but if anyone knows how to send the original poem hunter and e-mail via the site, I'd be grateful if they would.

Cheers

Marian 2, 22, 222


Re: spider and the fly...
Posted by: marian222 (86.153.107.---)
Date: July 04, 2007 04:24AM

I think this used to be in the Lost Quotes forum, but somehow in digging it out, I've moved it across - no idea how, or how to put it back - help!!! Les - Linda - Aaron?


Re: spider and the fly...
Posted by: JohnnyBoy (24.45.167.---)
Date: July 04, 2007 12:31PM

"There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" Alan Mills/Rose Bonne

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
I don't know why she swallowed that fly—
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed that fly—
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd, to swallow a bird!
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed that fly—
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a cat.
Imagine that, she swallowed a cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed that fly—
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
What a hog! To swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat ...
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed that fly—
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a goat
She opened her throat and swallowed a goat
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat ...
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed that fly—
Perhaps she'll die.


There was an old lady who swallowed a cow.
I don't know how she swallowed a cow!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat ...
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat ...
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird ...
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider...
That wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed that fly—
Perhaps she'll die.

There was an old lady who swallowed a horse—
she's dead, of course.


Re: spider and the fly...
Posted by: LindaD (90.240.250.---)
Date: July 04, 2007 01:48PM

I tried sending an e-mail to the original poster, just in case, but their address is no longer in use.


Re: spider and the fly...
Posted by: marian222 (86.153.107.---)
Date: July 05, 2007 05:37AM

Thanks for trying Linda - we've given it our best shot! Just hope s/he drops in again sometime and finds it, if they haven't already.

I first learnt that song in primary school, Johnny - then it was always on the radio on Saturday Mornings with Morning Town Ride and The Ugly Bug Ball andThe Hippoptamus Song when I was a bit older. I'd forgotten all the ins and outs though - thanks for posting it and giving me a lovely nostalgia trip!




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