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Poem by James Henry Leigh Hunt


Abou Ben Adhem


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 cheerly 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 showed the names whom love of God had bless'd,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.



James Henry Leigh Hunt


James Henry Leigh Hunt's other poems:
  1. Robin Hood, a Child
  2. A Thought or Two on Reading Pomfret's
  3. Ariadne Waking
  4. To Robert Batty, M.D., on His Giving Me a Lock of Milton's Hair
  5. The Field of Battle


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