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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

The Courtiers

By Jean Pierre Claris de Florian (1755–1794)

Translation of Thomas Walsh

A PERSIAN king went out one day

To hunt with all his courtiers gay;

And growing thirsty, looked around

To see could any spring be found.

In vain; but near, an orchard stood

With ripened fruits in multitude.

“Now Lord forbid,” exclaimed the King,

“That I should take a single thing;

For if my courtiers see me do’t,

It means good-by to all the fruit.”