Two spiders, so the story goes, upon a living bent,
Entered the meeting-house one day,
And hopefully were heard to say,
`Here we shall have at last fair play
With nothing to prevent.'
Each chose his place and went to work: the light web grew apace;
One on the sofa spun his thread,
But shortly came the sexton dread,
And swept him off, and so, half-dead,
He sought another place.
`I'll try the pulpit next,' said he, `there surely is a prize;
The desk appears so neat and clean,
I'm sure no spider there has been;
Besides how often have I seen
The preacher brushing flies.'
He tried the pulpit, but alas! His hopes proved visionary.
With dusting brush the sexton came
And spoilt his geometric game,
Nor gave him time nor space to claim
The right of sanctuary.
At length, half-starved and weak and lean, he sought his former neighbour,
Who now had grown so sleek and round
He weighed the fraction of a pound,
And looked as if the art he'd found
Of living without labor.
`How is it, friend,' he asked, 'that I endured such thumps and knocks,
While you have grown so very gross?'
"Tis plain,' he answered, 'not a loss
I've met since first I spun across
The contribution box.'
(1 Cor. 16. 2; 2 Cor. 9. 5-7)