A Fence or an Ambulance
a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed, though to walk near its Crest was
so pleasant, But over its terrible edge there has slipped, a duke and full many
a peasant, So the people said something would have to be done, but their
projects did not at all tally, some said, "Put a fence round the edge of the
cliff." Some, "An ambulance down in the valley."
But the cry
for the ambulance carried the day, for it spread through the neighboring city, A
fence may be useful or not, it is true, but each heart became brimful of pity, For those
who slipped over that dangerous cliff; and the dwellers in highway and alley,
Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence, but an ambulance down in the
cliff is all right if you're careful," they said, and if folk's even slip or are
dropping, It isn't the slipping that hurts them so much, as the shock down below
when they're stopping. So day after day, as these mishaps occurred, quick forth
would their rescuers salley, To
pick up the victims who fell off the cliff with their ambulance down in the
Then an old
sage remarked, "It's a marvel to me that people give fare more attention To
repairing results than to stopping the cause when they'd much better aim at
prevention, “Let us stop at its source all the mischief," he cried. "Come
neighbors and friends let us rally. If the cliff we will fence, we might almost
dispense, with the ambulance down in the valley.
"Oh, he's a
fanatic," the others rejoined, "dispense with the ambulance?
Never. He'd dispense with all charities, too, if he could, no, no, we'll
support them forever.
picking up folks just as fast as they fall, and shall this man dictate to us?
Shall he? Why should people of sense stop to put up a fence while the ambulance
worked in the valley?"
But a sensible few who are practical, too, will not bear with such nonsense much
longer. They believe that prevention is better than
cure, and their party will still be the stronger. Encourage them then with your
purse, voice and pen, and while other philanthropists dally, they will scorn all
pretense and put up a fence on the cliff hat hangs over the valley.
Better guide well the young than reclaim them when old, for the voice of true
wisdom is calling. To rescue the fallen is good but ‘tis best,
to prevent other people from falling. Better close up the source of temptation
and crime, than deliver from dungeon and galley, Better put a strong fence round
the top of the cliff, than an ambulance down in the valley.