Evolution

Original Text: 
Thomas Thornely, Verses from Fen and Fell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1919): 83-86.
1When Nature set herself to work, she did it in a way,
2Which seems a little odd to us, who order things today.
3She did not think the matter out, or draw up any plan,
4But she started in a hurry and she reasoned as she ran,
5With the confident assurance of an optimistic man.
6Her misses were so many and her hits so very few,
7That the wonder is she ever had the luck to muddle through,
8But she hadn't any scruples and she never made a fuss,
9If the way in front was blocked she tried a circumbendibus.
10She churned quiescent ether up and stepped aside to see
11Existence oozing slowly from potentiality,
12And an integrating order to stir the misty bounds of space,
13So she lashed about her lustily, to quicken up the pace,
14With a smile of satisfaction on her interesting face.
15She mixed a lot of matter with the thing we know as life,
16And, to make her creatures livelier, she set them all at strife--
17Some were fighting for a dinner, others fighting for a wife--
18And the one that ate the other was the one she counted 'fit,'
19Or, to put it scientifically, she 'selected' it.
20Strange forms of life came bubbling up with eager wondering eyes,
The rest of the poem cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Publication Start Year: 
1919
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire, assisted by Ana Berdinskikh
RPO Edition: 
2009