Don'T Tease The Lion

If you saw a lion
Not within a cage,
Would you tease and fret him
Till he roared in rage?
Would you tempt his anger
And his savage power,
Knowing he could crush you,
Kill you, and devour?


Yet I know some people
Who, morn and noon and night,
Tease and fret with bitters
The lion-appetite.
It matters not what ails them,
For each disease and all
They seem to think there's healing
In demon alcohol.


So they fret the lion,
And anger him, until,
In his awful power,
He springs up to kill.
Let me warn you, children,
From this foolish way.
Do not tease the lion,
Nor tempt him any day.


Don't believe the doctors
If they say you need
Any wines or ciders;
For there are, indeed,
Better cures, and safer,
Than these drinks, that slay
More than a hundred people
Without fail each day.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

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