Mighty Croesus

The king of Lydia was the richest man in the world, yet he lost it all in a quest for power. The tale has been told of how his wise men told him that if he crossed the Halys River into Persia he would destroy a kingdom. Misunderstanding the warning, he crossed the river, and the kingdom he destroyed was his.

What is that which I should turn to
Mighty Croesus asked the sage
Have I gold that men should dream of
Have not books on every page
Blazed my name in crimson letters
Boldly drawn and edged in rime
With such wealth from yon Pactolus
River’d gold bequeathed by time
Gold is gold, the sage did answer
But for greatness more must come
Cross the river, fell a Kingdom
Count thee not the mounting sum
Then upon the gentle Halys
Croesus walked with shoes of gold
Into Persia with his army
Herodotus the story told
Captured by the mighty Cyrus
Croesus begged that he might live
For his life then he would give him
All the gold he had to give
There the story ends as often
Golden stories end not well
Gold is but a shining metal
Worthless if your soul you sell