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Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892

"Silkworms and Spiders" by Charles Tennyson
from Sonnets and Fugitive Pieces (Cambridge: B. Bridges, 1830).

 The worm long fosters his transforming sleep,
 But claims th' unalienable life again,
 Which tho' it be but one, yet seemeth twain,
 The trance between is all so deadly-deep:
 The careful spider spreads before his lair
 The web, ygather'd near his filmy heart
 Withouten throes or any vital smart,
 And of his entrails makes his foes a snare:
 In both a mighty mystery resides,
 A truth, on whose developement they thrive;                  10
 One for the cravings of his life provides,
 One weaves himself another way to live;
 To search the secret is beyond our lore,
 And man must rest, till God doth furnish more!

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Updated 2 August 1999 by the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.
Copyright © 1999, the University of South Carolina.