The Happy Prince

The Happy Prince

Listen:     

“In the square below,” said the Happy Prince, “there stands a little match-girl.  She has let her matches fall in the gutter, and they are all spoiled.  Her father will beat her if she does not bring home some money, and she is crying.  She has no shoes or stockings, and her little head is bare.  Pluck out my other eye, and give it to her, and her father will not beat her.”

“I will stay with you one night longer,” said the Swallow, “but I cannot pluck out your eye.  You would be quite blind then.”

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “do as I command you.”

So he plucked out the Prince’s other eye, and darted down with it.  He swooped past the match-girl, and slipped the jewel into the palm of her hand.  “What a lovely bit of glass,” cried the little girl; and she ran home, laughing.

Then the Swallow came back to the Prince.  “You are blind now,” he said, “so I will stay with you always.”

“No, little Swallow,” said the poor Prince, “you must go away to Egypt.”

“I will stay with you always,” said the Swallow, and he slept at the Prince’s feet.

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