His birthright for a lump of gold
And hid the lump of gold away
In a deep hole, to which each day
He came to feast his eyes upon
His treasure. - - One day it was gone.
A thief had found the hiding-place
And helped himself and left no trace.
The miser raved and tore his hair.
A neighbor, marking his despair,
Counseled him thus: "Pray why be sad
At losing what you never had?
Your lump of gold, you can't deny,
Was only worth what it would buy.
Go get a stone of equal size
And weight, then, if you shut your eyes,
For all the good you'll get of it
That stone will serve you every bit
As well, for with it can be bought
All you would buy and that is naught!"
Source: Herford Aesop 50.
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