1. The Happy Prince Introduction


The Happy Prince

By Oscar Wilde

The Happy Prince Introduction

This is a storey about a Prince. The prince was very happy when he was alive. Following his death, a large statue of him was erected on a pedestal. The Prince's statue could see the entire city from there, and he witnessed the people's miseries at the time. He saw the poor and homeless people, as well as their hunger and starvation. The Prince was saddened to see all of these people's miseries. So, in this chapter, we will look at the life of this prince.

The Happy Prince Summary

A prince once lived in a town. He was known as the Happy Prince because he had been happy his entire life. Following his death, a statue of him was erected on a tall pedestal in the centre of town. The statue was gold-plated, with two precious sapphire stones embedded in the eyes. His sword's handle had a ruby stone set into it. From there, he could see all over the place and realised how poor and miserable the people were. This sight saddened the prince, and because he was helpless, he would weep when he saw his people's plight.

A swallow bird was flying through the city one day, on its way to Egypt to meet up with its friends. It stopped for the night at the feet of the statue of the happy prince on the way. The bird noticed that the statue was weeping and, upon further investigation, discovered the prince's plight. The helpless prince asked the bird to assist him by acting as its messenger. Following an initial refusal, the bird agreed and removed the ruby stone from the sword hilt, delivering it to a poor seamstress. The next morning, as he was about to leave, the statue convinced him to stay another day.

On that particular day, the bird was tasked with removing a sapphire stone from one of the statue's eyes and delivering it to a young playwright. In addition, on the third day, the bird had to retrieve the second sapphire stone for a poor match girl. The weather had turned cold by this point, and the bird had developed an attachment to the statue. The bird refused to leave the statue, which had now gone blind. The happy prince asked the bird to fly around the city and report back to him on the state of the people who lived there. The bird informed him that the rich were having a good time while the poor were suffering. Because the happy prince had no more precious stones, he instructed the bird to remove the gold foils from his body and distribute them among the living who needed money to survive. The prince's statue gradually lost its gold coating and became dull and grey. The poor, on the other hand, were overjoyed because they now had bread to eat. The swallow bird was now unable to withstand the cold weather and realised death was on its way. It informed the statue that it had to leave, and the statue, who loved the bird, requested that it kiss him.

As the bird died and fell at the statue's feet, a strange sound emitted from the statue – the sound of its heart breaking. Although the heart of the statue was made of lead, it broke as it was overcome with love for the bird. The heart did not melt when the statue was melted in the furnace and was thrown away. It landed near the body of the swallow. God's angels brought the dead swallow and the broken heart to him because they were the most valuable things on earth.

The Happy Prince Lesson Explanation

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.

  • gilded: to covered with something,  coating of something
  • hilt: the handle of a weapon or tool, especially a sword, dagger, or knife

A prince statue stood on a high platform overlooking the city. This prince was known as the Happy Prince because he was always cheerful when he was alive. Following his death, a large statue of him was erected in his honour in the city centre. This happy prince's statue was covered in thin layers of gold, and instead of eyeballs, there were two bright, gleaming sapphire stones. A brilliant ruby stone was set in the handle of his sword.

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; then he decided to go to Egypt too.

  • swallow: a tiny bird

Swallow is a small bird. Despite the fact that it is not a human being, the writer refers to it as 'he' and 'his'. He claims that all of this swallow's friends flew away to Egypt six weeks ago. This bird did not accompany them. However, it later considered going to Egypt with his friends. As a result, it was on its way to Egypt.

All day long he flew, and at night time he arrived at the city.
“Where shall I put up?” he said. “I hope the town has made preparations.”

  • Put up means where to live for the night

This bird continued to fly towards Egypt, and at night it arrived in the city of the Happy Prince. It desired to spend the night somewhere. It considers where to spend the night. The bird expresses hope that the city has made arrangements for it to stay. Obviously the bird does not mean what it is saying. We can conclude that the bird is most likely humorous himself.

Then he saw the statue on the tall column.
“I will put up there,” he cried. “It is a fine position with plenty of fresh air.” So he alighted just between the feet of the Happy Prince.

  • Alighted: descended

When this tiny bird saw the huge statue of the Happy Prince, it decided to spend the night there.

So the bird decided it was a good place to spend the night. There was cover and plenty of fresh air. As a result, the bird arrived and landed. It stopped and sat between the feet of the Happy Prince statue.

“I have a golden bed-room,” he said softly to himself as he looked round, and he prepared to go to sleep; but just as he was putting his head under his wing a large drop of water fell on him.  “What a curious thing!” he cried. “There is not a single cloud in the sky, the stars are quite clear and bright, and yet it is raining.”
Then another drop fell.

  • curious: strange

When the bird sat between the happy prince's feet, it was surrounded by gold. As a result, it mistook its bedroom for one made of gold because it was surrounded by gold all around. A large drop of water fell on it as it was about to sleep, as it was putting its head under the wing. The bird was surprised when a drop of water fell on it unexpectedly. It thought it wasn't raining or that the rainy season was over. The swallow couldn't believe it because the sky was clear and the stars sparkled. Then another drop of water landed on it.

“What is the use of a statue if it cannot keep the rain off ?” he said. “I must look for a good chimney pot,” and he determined to fly away.

The swallow thought the statue was useless because it couldn't protect it from the rain. As a result, he decided not to sleep beneath the statue. The swallow reasoned that it would be safer to take shelter in a house chimney. And decided to get away from there because the statue couldn't keep the rain out.

But before he had opened his wings, a third drop fell, and he looked up, and saw — Ah! What did he see?

The third drop of water fell on him before the bird flew away, and he looked up. What did he notice? Let us investigate.

The eyes of the Happy Prince were filled with tears, and tears were running down his golden cheeks. His face was so beautiful in the moonlight that the little swallow was filled with pity.
“Who are you?” he said.
“I am the Happy Prince.”

When the bird looked up, he noticed that the Happy Prince's statue's eyes were filled with tears. These drops of water were teardrops falling from the golden cheeks of the statue. When Swallow looked at Happy Prince's face in the moonlight, it was stunning. The little bird's heart was broken for the weeping statue. It inquired of the statue as to its identity. It was the 'Happy Prince,' said the statue.

“Why are you weeping then?” asked the swallow.  “You have quite drenched me.”

  • drenched: soaked with water

The swallow mistook the statue for the Happy Prince, but it was crying. The bird inquired as to why the statue was crying. It went on to say that it had soaked it with its tears.

“When I was alive and had a human heart,” answered the statue, “I did not know what tears were, for I lived in the Palace, where sorrow is not allowed to enter. My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy indeed I was. So I lived, and so I died. And now that I am dead they have set me up here so high that I can see the ugliness and all the misery of my city, and though my heart is made of lead yet I cannot choose but weep.”

  • misery: sadness

The Happy Prince told the swallow his storey. The Happy Prince stated that when he was alive and had a human heart, which means the heart that beats and is alive, he was unaware of what tears and sorrow were because he lived in a palace where there was happiness all around. All the people who worked in his court used to call him Happy Prince because he was always happy and had never seen sorrow. And he claimed to have lived and died only in happiness. He never cried when he had a human heart. He didn't know what tears were because he had only seen happiness and had never experienced sorrow. Now that he was dead, they had elevated him to the level of a statue on a pedestal, from which he could see the entire city and its ugliness. He could see how many people were suffering from a lack of food, hunger, money, and homelessness. When the statue's heart was made of lead – a metal – even though it had no feelings, it became sad and wept when it saw all the sadness.


‘What! Is he not solid gold?’ said the swallow to himself. He was too polite to make any personal remarks.


The swallow was thinking about something else while the Happy Prince was telling his sad storey. The bird was perplexed that the prince's statue was not made of solid gold. It was surprised. It appeared from the outside that the statue was covered in gold, but as it was stated, the heart was made of lead rather than gold. It recognised that it was hollow and not solid gold. He did not make any personal remarks because he saw that the statue was sad and crying. It made no comments about the statue because it valued the feelings of the statue.


“Far away,” continued the statue in a low musical voice, “far away in a little street there is a poor house. One of the windows is open, and through it I can see a woman seated at a table. Her face is thin and worn, and she has coarse, red hands, all pricked by the needle, for she is a seamstress.

  • coarse: rough
  • seamstress: a woman who makes a living by sewing.

The storey was continued by the statue. It said in a very musical voice that there was a poor woman's house far away. Her house's window was open, and it could see through it that she was sitting near the table. Her skin was thin and she looked tired. Her hands were rough and red from having been pricked by the needle. The woman worked as a seamstress.

She is embroidering flowers on a satin gown for the loveliest of the Queen’s maids of honour, to wear at the next Court ball. In a bed in the corner of the room her little boy is lying ill. He has a fever, and is asking his mother to give him oranges. His mother has nothing to give him but river water, so he is crying. Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow, will you not bring her the ruby out of my sword hilt? My feet are fastened to this pedestal and I cannot move.”

  • sword hilt: the handle of the sword
  • pedestal: raised platform

The woman was embroidering flowers on the Queen's maid's gown, which she would wear as she walked with the Queen during the court ball. According to the statue, the lady who was embroidering the gown had a sickly child. He had a fever and begged his mother to give him oranges. His mother was impoverished. She did not have any money. She could only give him river water, which was why the little boy was crying. So the statue of the Happy Prince asked the swallow to take the ruby stone from the handle of its sword and give it to the lady. It went on to say that its feet were stuck to the platform and that it couldn't move.

“I am waited for in Egypt,” said the swallow. “My friends are flying up and down the Nile, and talking to the large lotus flowers. Soon they will go to sleep.”

The swallow replied that it needed to travel to Egypt. Its companions were waiting for it. The swallow stated that it had friends in Egypt. They were flying near the Nile and talking with the large lotus flowers that grew there. They were about to fall asleep, so it needed to get to Egypt as soon as possible.

The Prince asked the swallow to stay with him for one night and be his messenger. “The boy is so thirsty, and the mother so sad,” he said.

The statue asked the swallow to spend the night with him. He requested that he serve as his messenger and work on his behalf. He stated that the boy was extremely thirsty, and that his mother was extremely depressed. So it should go and give her the ruby stone.

“I don’t think I like boys,” answered the swallow. “I want to go to Egypt.”

Once again, the swallow objected to his request, claiming that it did not like boys and thus had no reason to assist that boy. Furthermore, it had to travel to Egypt.

But the Happy Prince looked so sad that the little swallow was sorry. “It is very cold here,” he said. But he agreed to stay with him for one night and be his messenger.
“Thank you, little Swallow,” said the Prince.

Swallow felt sorry for the Happy prince because he was sad. It said it was very cold there, but it would stay with him for one night and do his work the next morning. He was thanked by the Happy Prince.

The swallow picked out the great ruby from the Prince’s sword and flew away with it in his beak over the roofs of the town.

Finally, the swallow extracted the ruby stone from the Happy Prince's sword, and the bird flew over the town with the ruby in its beak.

He passed by the cathedral tower, where the white marble angels were sculptured. He passed by the palace and heard the sound of dancing.

The Cathedral was passed by this swallow on its way to the poor woman's house. (Cathedral is a church, and white marble angels were sculpted on the church's tower.) Then he arrived at the palace, crossed it, and heard dancing coming from inside.

A beautiful girl came out on the balcony with her lover.
“I hope my dress will be ready in time for the State ball,” she said. “I have ordered flowers to be embroidered on it, but the seamstresses are so lazy.”

When this swallow flew over the palace, a girl and her lover emerged from the balcony. She hoped that the gown she had given to the seamstress for embroidery would be finished on time. She was referring to the same gown on which that lady was embroidering and to whom the bird was obligated to give the ruby stone.

He passed over the river, and saw the lanterns hanging on the masts of the ships. At last he came to the poor woman’s house and looked in.

  • mast: sail of the ship

Ships passed along the river as the swallow flew over it. Lanterns hung from their sails. Finally, the swallow arrived at the woman's home.

The boy was tossing feverishly on his bed, and the mother had fallen asleep, she was so tired.

  • tossing: turning left and right

The boy was ill, and as a result, he was unable to sleep. So he was turning left and right on his bed, and his mother was exhausted from a long day's work and had fallen asleep.

In he hopped, and laid the great ruby on the table beside the woman’s thimble.

  • thimble :a metal or plastic cap with a closed end, worn to protect the finger and push the needle in sewing

The swallow placed the ruby stone near the thimble on the table.

Then he flew gently round the bed, fanning the boy’s forehead with his wings. “How cool I feel!” said the boy, “I must be getting better;” and he sank into a delicious slumber.

  • slumber: sleep
  • sank: drown but here it means the boy in going to sleep

After placing the ruby stone on the table, the swallow approached the boy because his mother was sleeping and no one was looking after him. It shook its wings near him, allowing the boy to feel the cool air and feel better. The boy fell asleep, believing that he was getting better. We can conclude from this that the swallow was a kind-hearted bird.

Then the swallow flew back to the Happy Prince, and told him what he had done.

The swallow returned to the statue of Happy Prince and told him everything he had done.

“It is curious,” he remarked, “but I feel quite warm now, although it is so cold.”

The bird was now feeling warm. It says it was very strange that it was feeling a little warm despite the fact that the weather was very cold.

“That is because you have done a good action,” said the Prince.

The prince stated that it was warm because it had performed a good deed. Someone had benefited from it.

And the little swallow began to think, and then fell asleep. Thinking always made him sleepy

After listening to the happy prince, the swallow began to think, and when he began to think, he felt sleepy because he used to feel sleepy whenever he thought.

When day broke he flew down to the river and had a bath. “Tonight I go to Egypt,” said the swallow, and he was in high spirits at the prospect.

  • prospect: thought of something

The next morning, the swallow bird went to the river and took a bath, believing that he would arrive in Egypt that night. He was overjoyed.

He visited all the monuments and sat a long time on top of the church steeple.

  • Steeple: high tower of the church

So the swallow bird visited all of the city's monuments before landing on the high tower of the church.

When the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince. “Have you any commissions for Egypt?” he cried. “I am just starting.”

When it got dark and the moon rose in the sky, the swallow went to Happy Prince and asked for permission to fly to Egypt.

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “will you stay with me one night longer?”
“I am waited for in Egypt,” answered the swallow.

Happy Prince asked swallow to stay with him for another night, but swallow said he needed to go to Egypt because his friends were waiting for him.

“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 the glass by his side there is a bunch of withered violets.

  • garret: small dark room at the top of the house
  • withered: worn out
  • violet: kind of flower

The Happy Prince is now telling the swallow about his second work. He claims that far away, across the city, I could see a young man sitting in a small dark room at the top of the house. He was sitting on a desk that was strewn with papers. And he was making an effort to work hard. He had a glass next to him with withered flowers in it.

His hair is brown and crisp, and his lips are red as a pomegranate, and he has large and dreamy eyes.

  • pomegranate: is a fruit

The Happy Prince went on to describe that boy. He stated that his hair was brown and crisp, implying that he had not bathed in a long time. His lips were pomegranate red, and he had big dreamy eyes. That means this young man was ambitious and hardworking.

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.”

  • faint: weak
  • grate: fireplace

The Happy Prince went on to say that this boy needed to finish writing a play because he was a writer. And after finishing the play, he had to hand it over to the director. But he didn't have the energy to write anymore because he was so cold. The boy didn't have any money, so there was no fire in his fireplace, and he was also very hungry, which made him feel very weak.

“I will wait with you one night longer,” said the swallow, who really had a good heart. He asked if he should take another ruby to the young playwright.

What Happy Prince was trying to tell him was understood by the swallow. He knew Happy Prince wanted to assist this boy, so he agreed to stay another night. The swallow then asked Happy Prince if he should take another ruby stone and give it to the young playwright (the one who writes plays), as he had done with the old lady.

“Alas! I have no ruby now,” said the Prince.

Prince expressed regret that he did not have any more ruby stones with him.

“My eyes are all that I have left. They are made of rare sapphires, which were brought out of India a thousand years ago.”

Happy Prince stated that he now had his eyes, which were made of extremely valuable and rare sapphire stones purchased thousands of years ago in India.

He ordered the swallow to pluck out one of them and take it to the playwright.

So the Happy Prince instructed Swallow to take out one sapphire and deliver it to the boy.

“He will sell it to the jeweller, and buy firewood, and finish his play,” he said.
“Dear Prince,” said the swallow, “I cannot do that,” and he began to weep.

When the swallow learned that the Happy Prince wished to gaze upon that boy, he burst into tears. He informed Happy Prince that he was unable to do so.

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “do as I command you.”
So the swallow plucked out the Prince’s eye, and flew away to the young man’s garret. It was easy enough to get in, as there was a hole in the roof. Through this he darted, and came into the room. The young man had his head buried in his hands, so he did not hear the flutter of the bird’s wings, and when he looked up he found the beautiful sapphire lying on the withered violets.

  • darted: pushed himself inside

The Happy Prince then told the swallow to do what he had told him to do. So the swallow finally extracted one eye, one sapphire from the prince's eye, and flew to the young man's garret. The room's roof had a hole in it. As a result, the swallow entered the room through the hole. Because the boy was sitting with his head on his hands, he didn't notice the flutter of the bird's wing. When he looked up, he noticed the sapphire stone on the dried flowers.

“I am beginning to be appreciated,” he cried. “This is from some great admirer. Now I can finish my play,” and he looked quite happy.

  • appreciate: to praise someone

When the boy saw the beautiful stone, he felt that someone who admired him, someone who praised him, had sent him a gift. So he reasoned that he could now finish his play with this.

The next day the swallow flew down to the harbour. He sat on the mast of a large vessel and watched the sailors working. “I am going to Egypt,” cried the swallow, but nobody minded, and when the moon rose he flew back to the Happy Prince.

  • harbor: sea port

The next morning, the swallow bird flew down to the harbour and sits on a ship's mast. He announced loudly that he was leaving for Egypt. When it got dark, he flew back to Happy Prince.

“I have come to bid you goodbye,” he cried.

Swallow informed the Happy Prince that the time had come to say good-by. He was on his way to Egypt.

“Swallow, Swallow, little Swallow,” said the Prince, “will you not stay with me one night longer?”

And Happy Prince asked Swallow to stay with him for one more night.

“It is winter,” answered the swallow, “and the snow will soon be here. In Egypt the sun is warm on the green palm trees, and the crocodiles lie in the mud and look lazily about them.”

The swallow informed the Happy Prince that the winter season had begun and that it would soon begin to snow. The weather in Egypt was pleasant, and even the crocodiles lazed on the mud. As a result, he told him to let him go to Egypt.

“In the square below,” said the Happy Prince, “there stands a little matchgirl. 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.”

This was the third of three assignments. The Happy Prince mentioned a match girl, who was a little girl whose matchsticks had all fallen into the gutter (sewage) and gotten wet. Because all of her match sticks were ruined, she couldn't sell them and wouldn't be able to earn any money. And if she returned home without money, her father would become enraged and beat her. As a result, the girl was crying. Furthermore, the Happy Prince stated that she was not wearing shoes or stockings, nor was she wearing a head covering. She was poor. So he told the swallow to take another sapphire from his eyes and give it to her so her father wouldn't 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 agreed to stay with him for one more night, but he refused to take out another sapphire because doing so would blind Happy Prince.

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

Happy Prince told Swallow once more to do what he had told him to do.

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.

  • swooped: fly very low

So, at long last, the swallow obeyed the Happy Prince's command. He flew to the little match girl with another sapphire stone from his eye. When he saw the match girl, he knelt down and placed the sapphire stone on the little girl's hand. The little girl was overjoyed to see the stone, and she happily returned home.

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

When Swallow returned to the Happy Prince, he told him that he was now blind and that he would remain with him forever.

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

But Happy Prince advised the swallow to travel to Egypt.

“No, I will stay with you always,” said the swallow, and he slept at the Prince’s feet.

But Swallow refused, saying he would only stay with him, and she slept on the Prince's feet.

All the next day he sat on the Prince’s shoulder, and told him stories of what he had seen in strange lands.

The swallow used to accompany Happy Prince at all times, telling him stories about the various places he had visited.

“Dear little Swallow,” said the Prince, “you tell me of marvellous things, but more marvellous than anything is the suffering of men and women. There is no Mystery so great as Misery. Fly over my city, little Swallow, and tell me what you see there.”

The Happy Prince told the swallow that he should tell him wonderful things, but that nothing was more wonderful than people's suffering. There was no greater mystery than sadness, and he wanted to know who was sad in his kingdom. So he asked the swallow to fly over the city and report back to him on what he saw.

So the swallow flew over the great city, and saw the rich making merry in their beautiful houses, while the beggars were sitting at the gates. He flew into dark lanes, and saw the white faces of starving children looking out listlessly at the black streets.

So the swallow flew around the city, seeing the rich people living happily in their beautiful homes and partying while the poor people were begging and sitting outside the gates. Then he went to the dark lanes where there was no light and where the poor lived. He noticed that the children's faces had turned white because they were hungry.

Under the archway of a bridge two little boys were lying in each other’s arms to try and keep themselves warm.

The swallow also noticed two young boys beneath the bridge's archway. They were lying very close to each other in order to keep warm. They were so poor that they didn't have food and had to rely on each other to stay warm.

“How hungry we are!” they said. “You must not lie here,” shouted the watchman, and they wandered out into the rain.

Two children were starving and wondering how they could possibly be so hungry. A watchman appeared and scolded them. He yelled and ordered them to leave. Because they were homeless, the poor children continued to wander in the rain.

Then he flew back and told the Prince what he had seen.

Swallow returned to Happy Prince and told him about his explorations in the city.

“I am covered with fine gold,” said the Prince. “You must take it off, leaf by leaf, and give it to the poor; the living always think that gold can make them happy.”

The Happy Prince revealed to Swallow that his entire body was covered in fine gold. He could extract tiny pieces of gold from his body and distribute them to the poor. All living things required money, and when they received gold, they were overjoyed.

Leaf after leaf of the fine gold the swallow picked off, till the Happy Prince looked quite dull and grey.

Slowly, the swallow peeled away the gold layers from the Happy Prince statue, and as he did so, the Happy Prince's statue began to look dull and grey.

Leaf after lead of the fine gold he brought to the poor, and the children’s faces grew rosier, and they laughed and played in the street. “We have bread now!” they cried.

The children became happier as the statue of Happy Prince became dull and grey because it provided them with food.

Then the snow came, and after the snow came the frost.

Finally, it began to snow, and when a large amount of snow fell, everything froze.

The streets looked as if they were made of silver. Everybody went about in furs, and the little boys wore scarlet caps and skated on the ice.

Everyone was dressed in fur clothing. Small children were dressed in red caps and wandering around. They were skating on the ice.

The poor little swallow grew colder and colder, but he would not leave the Prince, he loved him too well.

Swallow bird was cold, but he continued to sit near the Happy Prince's statue. He didn't want to leave him because he adored the Happy Prince.

He picked up crumbs outside the baker’s door when the baker was not looking, and tried to keep himself warm by flapping his wings.

The bird didn't want to die, so he went to the bakery where the baker baked the bread, ate the bread crumbs, and flailed his wings to keep warm.

But at last he knew that he was going to die. He had just enough strength to fly up to the Prince’s shoulder once more.

The swallow realised he was about to die. He only had enough energy to return to the Happy Prince statue. And he adds –

“Goodbye, dear Prince!” he murmured. “Will you let me kiss your hand?

When the swallow is about to die, he asks the happy prince, "Can I kiss your hand?"

“I am glad that you are going to Egypt at last, little Swallow,” said the Prince.

Happy The swallow, according to Prince, desired to travel to Egypt. So he expressed his delight that the bird was finally on its way to Egypt.

“You have stayed too long here but you must kiss me on the lips, for I love you.”

The happy prince told the swallow that it had been there for a long time and that it should now go to Egypt. Because the statue adored the bird, it desired that the bird kiss its lips rather than its hands.

“It is not to Egypt that I am going,” said the swallow. “I am going to the House of Death. Death is the brother of Sleep, is he not?”
And he kissed the Happy Prince on the lips, and fell down dead at his feet.

The Happy Prince was informed by the swallow bird that he was not going to Egypt, but rather to the House of Death. He went on to say that death was a sibling of sleep. He kissed the Happy Prince on the lips before falling to his death at the feet of the Happy Prince.

At that moment a curious crack sounded inside the statue, as if something had broken. The fact is that the leaden heart had snapped right in two. It certainly was a dreadfully hard frost.

The statue made an unusual sound as soon as the bird died on the Happy Prince's feet. The sound was caused by the breaking of the lead heart of the statue. His heart was broken by the loss of his beloved bird. However, it is said that the heart broke into two pieces due to the extreme cold.

Early the next morning the Mayor was walking in the square below in company with the Town Councillors. As they passed the column he looked up at the statue. “Dear me! How shabby the Happy Prince looks!” he said.

  • shabby (untidy)

The next morning, the Mayor of the city, along with his councillors, was walking around the area where the Happy Prince statue had been erected, and when he crossed the statue and looked up at it, he commented that it looked untidy.

“How shabby, indeed!” cried the Town Councillors, who always agreed with the Mayor and they went up to look at it.

The councillors always agreed with what the Mayor said, so they also asserted that the statue was untidy.

“The ruby has fallen out of his sword, his eyes are gone, and he is golden no longer,” said the Mayor.

The Mayor noticed that the ruby stone that was placed in the sword's handle was missing, as were the sapphires from the statue's eyes and the layer of gold from its body.

“In fact, he is little better than a beggar!
“Little better than a beggar,” said the Town Councillors.

The Mayor stated that it appeared to be a beggar statue, and the town councillors agreed.

“And here is actually a dead bird at his feet!” continued the Mayor. “We must really issue a proclamation that birds are not to be allowed to die here.” And the Town Clerk made a note of the suggestion.

  • proclamation: order, rule

The Mayor noticed a dead bird lying on the statue's feet. Then he told the town councillors to pass an ordinance prohibiting birds from dying on the statue's feet, and the town clerk took note of his suggestion.

So they pulled down the statue of the Happy Prince. “As he is no longer beautiful he is no longer useful,” said the Art Professor at the University.

The University's Art Professor stated that the statue of the Happy Prince was no longer beautiful and was no longer useful, and that it should be demolished.

Then they melted the statue in a furnace.

  • furnace: is a fire place where metal are melted

As a result, they melted the lead statue in a furnace.

“What a strange thing!” said the overseer of the workmen at the foundry.

  • overseer: supervisor
  • foundry: workshop for casting metals

The foundry's supervisor noticed something strange.

“This broken lead heart will not melt in the furnace. We must throw it away.”

The broken heart of the Happy Prince's statue was not melting in the furnace. As a result, they threw it in the dust heap as is.

So they threw it on a dust heap where the dead swallow was also lying.

Coincidentally, they threw the Happy Prince's heart where the dead swallow was also lying.

“Bring me the two most precious things in the city,” said God to one of His Angels; and the Angel brought Him the leaden heart and the dead bird.

God sent one of his Angels to bring him the city's two most valuable items. The Angel delivered the two pieces of the statue's heart and the dead swallow bird.

“You have rightly chosen,” said God, “for in my garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing for ever more and in my city of gold the Happy Prince shall praise me.”

God told the Angel that it had brought the right item. It had chosen the right things, which were indeed the city's most valuable assets. He claimed that the bird would always sing in his Paradise's garden, and that the Happy Prince would stay in his gold city and admire him.

About the Author

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on October 16, 1854, in Dublin. His father was a successful surgeon, and his mother was a literary hostess and writer. Wilde attended Trinity College in Dublin and Magdalen College in Oxford. Wilde became involved in the aesthetic movement while at Oxford. He moved to London after graduation to pursue a literary career.