ABOU BEN ADHEM
 

(This, poem was written by the English poet James Henry Leigh Hunt. He was born in 1784 and educated at a famous charity school called Christ's Hospital. He was not only a poet but also a journalist and an essayist. He was sent to prison for two years, because he had criticised the Prince Regent in his weekly paper "The Examiner". He continued to edit this paper while in jail. Many poets visited him there. He influenced and encouraged young writers of his time. He died in 1859 .)

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in 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 cheerily still, and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men,'
The angel wrote, and vanish'd The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And show'd the names whom love of God had bless'd,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

- J.H. Leigh Hunt.


 
 
     
   
   
     
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