A man in the forest had lost his way;
A rich man seldom inclined to roam,
When a bird flew down near the end of day
And the bird cried out: “I will lead you home!”
Said the man to the bird: “Why do you, help me?
And by doing this, what do you gain?”
And replied the bird: “There will be no fee
For my only wish is to ease your pain.
For I see you lost as are many more,
If you follow me I will tell you why,
For though you are rich and a bird is poor
We will both have nothing the day we die.”
Said the bird: “I own neither land nor sky
Whilst you are rich in the worldly things
But whither I wish I there do fly
While lust for money has clipped your wings.
For the more you own then the more you fret
And until you cast to the wind these things,
While you covert more, and while more you get,
You will have but the sorrow that worry brings.”
And as he followed the fluttering bird
Through gloomy forest where seemed no end,
He saw the truth of his saviour’s word
And he knew in his heart, his ways he’d mend.
Then the forest opened to sunlit field
And there in the distance a welcome sight,
For there was the road to home revealed
To the man who surely had seen the light.
But now delivered and safe and sound
The rich man pondered the things he’d heard.
He wondered whether the truth he’d found
For on reflection perhaps he’d erred.
Now out of danger his course was clear
And he said to the bird: “You are wise and kind,
My thanks, but to lose all my wealth I fear
For I value gold over peace of mind.”