23 March 2009

Margaret Cavendish on the Spider

Margaret Cavendish (1623-73), Duchess of Newcastle and holder of the title "Mad Madge" ceturies before Madonna, was a prolific writer - Many find her word atrocious, others fnd itn sublime. Me? I reserve judgement. I say enjoy (or don't enjoy) the work of a fine Essex lass! Here is Mad Madge and her poem Of the spider:

The Spiders Housewifry no Webs doth spin,
To make her Cloath, but Ropes to hang Flies in.
Her Bowels are the Shop where Flax is found,
Her Body is the Wheele that goeth round.
A Wall her Distaff, where she sticks Thread on,
The Fingers are the Feet that pull it long.
And wheresoever she goes nere idle sits,
Nor wants a House, builds one with Ropes, and Nets.
Though it be not so strong, as Brick, and Stone,
Yet strong enough to beare light Bodies on.
Within this House the Female Spider lies,
The whilst the Male doth hunt abroad for Flies.
Nere leaves, till he the Flies gets in, and there
Intangles him within his subtle Snare.
Like Treacherous Host, which doth much welcome make,
Yet watches how his Guests Life he may take.


Ellee Seymour said...

She sounds an interesting character Jams.

jams o donnell said...

She certainly was Ellee

billie said...

spinning, weaving 'round
luring, ensnaring insects-
spider snacks indeed!

my foggy brain needed some stimulation. :) maggie sounds like she knoweth of what she speaketh :)

jams o donnell said...

Wonderful stuff eh Betmo?

James Higham said...

Centuries before Madonna - like it.

jams o donnell said...

Glad you do James!

Mojo said...

Whoa. Madge was a hottie!

Kay Dennison said...


jams o donnell said...

That's an Essex girl for you Mojo!

Glad you enjoed it Kay

A Doubtful Egg said...

Brilliant! I'm still reeling from the line "Her Bowels are the Shop where Flax is found", an example of anti-poetry at its finest.

jams o donnell said...

SHe's well worth a further explore DE