Sunday, June 24, 2007

Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight of his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:-
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
'What writest thou?' - The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered 'The names of those who love the Lord.'
'And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay, not so,'
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said 'I pray thee then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names who love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

by Leigh Hunt

(Artwork by Edmund Dulac) Share


Michelle Therese said...

I wish I could be talented enough to write like that!!

elena maria vidal said...

Me, too. I wonder if studying Latin (as all educated people did at one time)gave the incredible mastery over the English language that the great poets had.

Anonymous said...


I don't know about the mastery of English, but I'm sure that the sublime subject matter of the classics (especially Homer and Virgil) were an excellent influence on poets.

(Boy, I can really state the obvious, can't I? :P )

elena maria vidal said...

That is very true!

Anonymous said...

I have always loved this poem.