Herbert Nehrlich Poems
The Ambulance Down In The Valley
A Fence or an Ambulance
by Joseph Malins (1895)
-a poem about prevention -
'Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,
though to walk near its crest was so pleasant;
but over its terrible edge there had 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;
I had to close the book of mankind's history,
it told of many wars, of bloodshed and of torture,
describing in disturbing but extensive detail,
how one can split a skull and full-grown man in half,
right down the centre of his hapless, useless being.
As if he'd never mattered or deserved to live.
So many years and so much blood was spilled,
that fertile fields bore witness to man's greatest folly.