Beware of what I tell you, Son, the tale I tell you now …
Though many men have burned, my son, they could not tell you how.
For picking up a stone, he thinks, ‘At last my luck has changed!
I’ve found a speck of gold!’ he thinks, ‘My life I’ll rearrange.’
Then, gold in hand, he travels down into the market place,
It seems that every passerby makes way or gives him chase.
For what he has (in pocket, there) has weight he’s never known:
Its beauty great and value vast to buy him rank and throne.
So to the local metals man, he skips and trips along.
He thrusts his find down for the man and happ’ly sings his song,
‘I’ve found a speck of gold, my friend, just take a look and see.
I’d like to sell it to you, friend, to live like a marquis.’
The metals man looks down his nose at what is sitting there.
He quickly scoffs, takes off his glass, and says without despair,
‘That gold you’ve found, I’m sad to say, is hardly gold at all.
That’s fool’s gold, fool (and not marquis), your luck is bound to fall.’
And so it was, my fragile son, the man was burned that day
Because he didn’t stop to ask and threw his pride away.
He found a prize, a gem, a pearl, was dazzled by her looks,
He thought her bright and strong and kind, a wife to match his books.
But when he tried to cash her in, he found she couldn’t match
The price that he had set for her, and so he must detach.
With gilding gone, she’d undergone a change he couldn’t see:
She sat there then, plain stone to him, yet bright as she could be.
He only saw the golden leaf upon her stony skin,
He couldn’t even see the stone looked just the same as him.
And so I say: beware, my son, of what your eyes will see.
Just love what’s underneath, my son-you’ll live like a marquis.