Once there ruled in the distant city of Wirani a king who was both
mighty and wise. And he was feared for his might and loved for
Now, in the heart of that city was a well, whose water was cool and
crystalline, from which all the inhabitants drank, even the king
and his courtiers; for there was no other well.
One night when all were asleep, a witch entered the city, and poured
seven drops of strange liquid into the well, and said, “From this
hour he who drinks this water shall become mad.”
Next morning all the inhabitants, save the king and his lord
chamberlain, drank from the well and became mad, even as the witch
And during that day the people in the narrow streets and in the
market places did naught but whisper to one another, “The king is
mad. Our king and his lord chamberlain have lost their reason.
Surely we cannot be ruled by a mad king. We must dethrone him.”
That evening the king ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the
well. And when it was brought to him he drank deeply, and gave it
to his lord chamberlain to drink.
And there was great rejoicing in that distant city of Wirani,
because its king and its lord chamberlain had regained their reason.
Read Kahlil Gibran's Poems:
The Three Ants | Said a Blade of Grass | And When My Sorrow was Born | The Pomegranate | When My Sorrow Was Born | The Two Hermits | The Scarecrow | The Astronomer | War | The Blessed City | The Sleep-Walkers | The Eye & The Fox | The Great Longing | The Wise King | Ambition | The Good God and the Evil God & The Grave-Digger | The Perfect World | The Seven Selves | The Other Language | The Greater Sea | The Wise Dog | The Two Learned Men | My Friend | Crucified | Night and the Madman | Defeat | Faces | God