Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1788–1820
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vol. IV: Literature of the Republic, Part I., Constitutional period, 1788–1820
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        5
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,        10
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;        15
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.        20
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.”

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