Allama Muhammad Iqbal

(9 November 1877 - 21 April 1938 / Sialkot / British India)

A Spider and A Fly


One day a spider said to a fly
'Though you pass this way daily

My hut has never been honored by you
By making a chance visit inside by you

Though depriving strangers of a visit does not matter
Evading the near and dear ones does not look good

My house will be honored by a visit by you
A ladder is before you if you decide to step in

Hearing this the fly said to the spider,
'Sire, you should entice some simpleton thus

This fly would never be pulled into your net
Whoever climbed your net could never step down'

The spider said, 'How strange, you consider me a cheat
I have never seen a simpleton like you in the world

I only wanted to entertain you
I had no personal gain in view

You have come flying from some unknown distant place
Resting for a while in my house would not harm you

Many things in this house are worth your seeing
Though apparently a humble hut you are seeing

Dainty drapes are hanging from the doors
And I have decorated the walls with mirrors

Beddings are available for guests' comforts
Not to everyone's lot do fall these comforts'.

The fly said, 'All this may very well be
But do not expect me to enter your house

'May God protect me from these soft beds
Once asleep in them getting up again is impossible'


The spider spoke to itself on hearing this talk
'How to trap it? This wretched fellow is clever

Many desires are fulfilled with flattery in the world
All in the world are enslaved with flattery'

Thinking this the spider spoke to the fly thus!
'Madam, God has bestowed great honors on you!

Everyone loves your beautiful face
Even if someone sees you for the first time

Your eyes look like clusters of glittering diamonds
God has adorned your beautiful head with a plume

This beauty, this dress, this elegance, this neatness!
And all this is very much enhanced by singing in flight'.

The fly was touched by this flattery
And spoke, 'I do not fear you any more

I hate the habit of declining requests
Disappointing somebody is bad indeed'

Saying this it flew from its place
When it got close the spider snapped it

The spider had been starving for many days
The fly provided a good leisurely meal

Submitted: Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Edited: Tuesday, July 31, 2012

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  • Brian Jani (7/14/2014 4:04:00 AM)

    what a poetic angle of view of the classic rivalry of the spider and the fly.well written poem Allama (Report) Reply

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