The Fables of Florian (tr. Phelps)/The Prince and the Nightingale
THE PRINCE AND THE NIGHTINGALE.
A young prince and his tutor stray'd
Through a grove for a promenade.
There, as the time upon him hung
With heavy weight—
(Such is the usage of the great),
A bird beneath the foliage sung:
It was the charming nightingale.
Should not the princely rank avail
To cage the bird without delay?
But hunting through the leafy shade,
So great the fracas that he made,
The bird took fright and flew away.
"Why," said His Highness, in great wrath—
"Why does this bird thus shun my path?
Why does he choose this desert waste,
While sparrows round my palace feast?"
His tutor answer'd:—"This will show
What some day you will come to know;
Fools crowd in plenty to be bought,
While merit hides, and must be sought."