I WATCH her in the corner there,
As restless, bold, and unafraid,
She slips and floats along the air,
Till all her subtile house is made.
Her home, her bed, her nets for food,
All from that inward store she draws;
She fashions it and knows it good
By instinct’s sure and sacred laws.
No silver threads to weave her nest
She seeks and gathers far or near,
But spins it from her fruitful breast,
Renewing still till leaves are sere.
Till, worn with toil and tired of life,
In vain her shining traps are set,
For frost hath stilled the insect strife,
And gilded flies her charm forget.
Then, swinging on the shroud she spun,
She sways to every wintry wind,
Her joy, her toil, her errand done,
Her corse the sport of storms unkind.
Poor sister of the spinster clan !
I too, from out my store within,
My daily life and living plan,
My home, my rest, my pleasure spin.
I know thy heart when heartless hands
Sweep all that hard-earned web away,
Destroy its pearled and glittering bands,
And leave thee homeless by the way.
I know thy peace when all is done, —
Each anchored thread, each tiny knot
Soft shining in the autumn sun,
A sheltered, silent, tranquil spot.
I know what thou hast never known,
Sad foresight to a soul allowed, —
That not for life I spin alone,
But day by day I spin my shroud.
Rose Terry Cooke.