- Year Published: 1867
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: Greece
- Source: Aesop (1867) Aesop's Fables
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 3.8
- Word Count: 174
Aesop, . (1867). “The Labourer and the Nightingale”. Aesop's Fables (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from
Aesop, . "“The Labourer and the Nightingale”." Aesop's Fables. Lit2Go Edition. 1867. Web. <>. March 30, 2015.
Aesop, "“The Labourer and the Nightingale”," Aesop's Fables, Lit2Go Edition, (1867), accessed March 30, 2015,.
A Labourer lay listening to a Nightingale’s song throughout the summer night. So pleased was he with it that the next night he set a trap for it and captured it. “Now that I have caught thee,” he cried, “thou shalt always sing to me.”
“We Nightingales never sing in a cage.” said the bird.
“Then I’ll eat thee.” said the Labourer. “I have always heard say that a nightingale on toast is dainty morsel.”
“Nay, kill me not,” said the Nightingale; “but let me free, and I’ll tell thee three things far better worth than my poor body.” The Labourer let him loose, and he flew up to a branch of a tree and said: “Never believe a captive’s promise; that’s one thing. Then again: Keep what you have. And third piece of advice is: Sorrow not over what is lost forever.” Then the song-bird flew away.