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The Spider And The Bee

from Moores Fables For Girls





The nymph who walks the public streets,
And sets her cap at all she meets,
May catch the fool who turns to stare;
But men of sense avoid the snare.

As on the margin of the flood,
With silken line, my LYDIA stood,
I smil'd to see the pains you took,
To cover o'er the fraudful hook.
Along the forest as we stray'd,
You saw the boy his lime-twigs spread;
Guess'd you the reason of his fear,
Lest, heedless, we approach'd too near?
For as behind the bush we lay,
The linnet flutter'd on the spray.

Needs there such caution to delude
The scaly fry, and feather'd brood?
And think you, with inferior art,
To captivate the human heart?
The maid who modestly conceals
Her beauties, while she hides, reveals;
Give but a glimpse, and FANCY draws
Whate'er the GRECIAN VENUS was.
From EVE'S first fig-leaf to brocade,
All dress was meant for FANCY'S aid,
Which evermore delighted dwells
On what the bashful nymph conceals.

When CELIA struts in man's attire,
She shews too much to raise desire;
But from the hoop's bewitching round,
Her very shoe has power to wound.
The roving eye, the bosom bare,
The forward laugh, the wanton air,
May catch the fop, for gudgeons strike
At the bare hook, and bait, alike;
While SALMON play regardless by,
Till ART, like NATURE, forms the fly.

Beneath a PEASANT'S homely thatch,
A SPIDER long had held her watch;
From morn to night, with restless care,
She spun her web, and wove her snare.
Within the limits of her reign
Lay many a hidden captive, slain;
Or, flutt'ring, struggled in the toils
To burst the chains, and shun her wiles.
A straying BEE, that perch'd hard by,
Beheld her with disdainful eye;
And thus began:--Mean thing! give o'er,
And lay thy slender threads no more;
A thoughtless FLY or two, at most,
Is all the conquest thou canst boast;
For BEES of sense thy arts evade,
We see so plain the nets are laid.

The gaudy TULIP, that displays
Her spreading foliage to the gaze,
That points her charms at all she sees,
And yields to ev'ry wanton BREEZE,
Attracts not me. Where blushing grows,
Guarded with thorns, the modest ROSE,
Enamour'd round and round I fly,
Or on her fragrant bosom lie;
Reluctant, she my ardour meets,
And, bashful, renders up her sweets.

To wiser heads attention lend,
And learn this lesson from a friend:
She, who with modesty retires,
Adds fuel to her lover's fires;
While such incautious jilts as you,
By folly your own schemes undo.





Next: The Young Lion And The Ape

Previous: The Farmer The Spaniel And The Cat



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