The Happy Prince

by Children's stories, English, Oscar Wilde

Listen:     

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “far away across the city I see a young man in a garret.  He is leaning over a desk covered with papers, and in a tumbler by his side there is a bunch of withered violets.  His hair is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes.  He is trying to finish a play for the Director of the Theatre, but he is too cold to write any more.  There is no fire in the grate, and hunger has made him faint.”

“I will wait with you one night longer,” said the Swallow, who really had a good heart.  “Shall I take him another ruby?”

“Alas!  I have no ruby now,” said the Prince; “my eyes are all that I have left.  They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought out of India a thousand years ago.  Pluck out one of them and take it to him.  He will sell it to the jeweller, and buy food and firewood, and finish his play.”

“Dear Prince,” said the Swallow, “I cannot do that”; and he began to weep.

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

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