The Happy Prince 幸福な王子
High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue
of the Happy Prince. He was gilded all over with thin
leaves of fine gold, for eyes he had two bright sapphires,
and a large red ruby glowed on his sword-hilt.
He was very much admired indeed. "He is as beautiful as
a weathercock," remarked one of the Town Councillors who
wished to gain reputation for having artistic tastes;
"only not quite so useful," he added, fearing lest people
should think him unpractical, which he really was not.
"Why can't you be like the Happy Prince?" asked a
sensible mother of her little boy who was crying for the
moon. "The Happy Prince never dreams of crying for
"I am glad there is someone in the world who is quite
happy," muttered a disappointed man as he gazed at the
"He looks just like angel," said the Charity Children as
they came out of the cathedral in their bright scarlet
cloaks and their clean white pinafores.
"How do you know?" said the Mathematical Master, "you
have never seen one."
"Ah! but we have, in our dreams," answered the children;
and the Mathematical Master frowned and looked very
severe, for he did not approve of children dreaming.
One night there flew over the city a little Swallow. His
friends had gone away to Egypt six weeks before, but he
had stayed behind, for he was in love with the most
beautiful Reed. He had met her early in the spring as he
was flying down the river after a big yellow moth, and had
been so attracted by her slender waist that he had stopped
to talk to her.
"Shall I love you?" said the Swallow, who liked to come
to the point at once, and the Reed made him a low bow. So
he flew round and round her, touching the water with his
wings, and making silver ripples. This was his courtship,
and it lasted all through the summer.
"It is a ridiculous attachment," twittered the other
Swallows; "she has no money, and far too many relations";
and indeed the river was quite full of Reeds. Then, when
the autumn came they all flew away.