1746 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "The Butterfly and the Spider: on the Disputes between Mr. Pope and the L—d H—y"" British Magazine 1 (November 1746) 353-54.



Oft have I mov'd with anger, seen,
Sad object of envenom'd spleen,
A painted butterfly, unfold
Its spangled wings, bedrop'd with gold;
And basking in a summer's day,
The glories of its plumes display;
While issuing from his mazy cell,
With rage replete, a spider fell,
Indignant views the pretty form,
And spits upon the painted worm.

So Pope, of spider kind, and make,
A monstrous form, all legs and back,
Crawls hateful from his hole obscure,
Nor lovely object can endure:
But views with envy, pride, and hate,
The shining honours of the great,
Till squeezing forth his pois'nous steam,
The subtle, still, malignant stream
Blackens, infectuous, as it flows,
Heroes, and statesmen, belles and beaux:
He rails and bids the world despise
Whate'er his ugly self outvies.