The spider’s housewif’ry no webs doth spin
To make her cloth, but ropes to hang flies in.
Her bowels are the shop where flax is found;
Her body is the wheel that goeth round.
A wall her2 distaff, where she sticks thread on;3 5
The fingers are the feet that pull it long.4
She’s busy at all times, not idle lies;5
A house she builds with nets to catch the flies.6
Though it be not so strong as brick and stone,
Yet strong enough to bear light bodies on. 10
Within this house the female spider lies,
The whilst the male doth hunt abroad for flies.
Ne’er leaving7 till he8 flies gets in, which are9
Entangled10 soon11 within his subtle snare,
Like treacherous hosts,12 which do13 much welcome make 15
Their guests, yet watch how they their lives14 may take.
- the Spider] a Spider’s Webb. 1664; a Spider’s Web. 1668
- A wall her] Her 1664, 1668
- thread on;] the Thread, ’s a Wall, 1664; the Thread, ’s a Wall: 1668
- The fingers are the feet that pull it long.] Her Feet the Fingers are she pulls withall; 1664; Her Feet, the Fingers are, she pulls withall. 1668
- She’s busy at all times, not idle lies;] And wheresoever she goes, nere idle sits, 1653
- A house she builds with nets to catch the flies.] Nor wants a House, builds one with Ropes, and Nets. 1653; An House she Builds with Nets to catch the Flies, 1664; An House she Builds with Nets, to catch the Flyes: 1668
- leaving] leaves, 1653
- he] he the 1653
- which are] and there 1653
- Entangled] Intangles 1653
- soon] him 1653
- hosts,] Host, 1653
- do] doth 1653
- Their guests, yet watch how they their lives] Yet watches how his Guests Life he 1653