Abu Ben Adhem

Abu Ben Adam (may his tribe increase)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace

And saw, within the moonlight of his room
Making it rich, like a lily in bloom

An angel writing in a book of gold.
Exceeding peace had made Abu Ben Adam bold

And to the presence in his room he said
'What writest thou?' The vision raised its head

And with a look of all sweet accord
Answered: 'The names of those who love the Lord

'And is mine one?' said Abu. 'Nay not so'
Replied the Angel. Abu spoke more low

But cheerily 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 awaking light

And showed the names of whom love of God had blessed.
And lo! Ben Adam's name led all the rest.

 

- Ascribed to James Henry Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

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