Frost’s brilliance emerges in the difference between this and the final version. In Design he changes the first line to ‘I found a dimpled spider, fat and white.’
‘Lifeless’ becomes ‘vivid’(L.3) and the fourth line ‘Assorted characters of death and blight.’ ‘Snow-drop’ replaces ‘beady’ in L.7, and the 8th line now reads ‘And dead wings carried like a paper kite.’
Each substitution is more realistic, convincing and ominous, foreshadowing Design’s conclusion:
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appal? -
If design govern in a thing so small.