Originally inspired by the release of the book Insectivorous Plants by Charles Darwin:
From the Insects to their friend Charles Darwin.
by Lady Ellen Lubbock (1875)
We saw that you were watching us,
We felt you were our friend,
And as we, in a general way,
Come to a fearful end.
It suddenly occurred to us,
That we would have a look,
At what you said about us,
So we crawled upon your book.
We now have buzzed all over it,
And find that, as we feared,
Voracious plants could tell us
How our friends have disappeared.
(I never trusted Drosera,
Since I went there with a friend,
And saw its horrid tentacles
Beginning all to bend.
I flew away, but he was caught,
I saw him squeezed quite flat –
I don’t go any more to plants
With habits such as that.)
We are very much obliged to you,
For now of course we shan’t
Be taken in and done for
By any clever plant.
But this has to be considered:
It isn’t much we need,
But if we daren’t go to any plant,
On what are we to feed?
We feel that you, in pointing out
Have meant to do the kindest thing
To us that could be done.
Therefore, to your abode in Down,
With joyful buzz and hum,
From every quarter of the globe,
We insects all will come.
Great plates of honey you will set
For us upon your lawn;
Will feast away & bless the day
That ever you were born!
Written by Lady Ellen Lubbock for Charles Darwin on the occasion of the publication of his book on “Insectivorous Plants,” in July 1875. From the Lubbock family archive, used with the kind permisson of Lyulph Lubbock, FLS.
(As found in the Linnean Special Issue No. 9, Survival of the Fittest. Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Darwin-Wallace Theory of Evolution, in the article, From the Origin of Species to the Origin of Civilization – A perspective from a corner of Kent (pg 69) by Lyulph Lubbock FLS.The Drosera drawing, by George Darwin; and the photo come from Wikimedia Commons)