Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 11. AL-MUTAKABBIR, by EDWIN ARNOLD



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PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 11. AL-MUTAKABBIR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Azar, of abraham the father, spake
Last Line: "is ""great"" except the greatest one."
Subject(s): God; Islam


Al-Mutakabbir! all the heavens declare
His majesty, Who makes them what they are.

Azar, of Abraham the father, spake
Unto his son, "Come! and thine offerings make
Before the gods whose images divine
In Nimrûd's carved and painted temple shine.
Pay worship to the sun's great orb of gold;
Adore the queen-moon's silver state; behold
Otâred, Moshtari, Sohayl, in their might,
Those stars of glory, those high lords of light.
These have we wrought, as fitteth gods alone,
In bronze and ivory and chiseled stone.
Obey, as did thy sires, these powers of Heaven
Which rule the world, throned in the circles seven."

But Abraham said, "Did they not see the sun
Sink and grow darkened, when the days were done?
Did not the moon for them, too, wax and wane,
That they should pay her worship, false and vain?
Lo! all these stars have laws to rise and set,—
Otâred, Moshtari, Sohayl,—wilt thou yet
Bid me praise gods who humbly come and go,
Lights that a Greater Light hath kindled? No!
I dare not bow the knee to one of these;
My Lord is He who (past the sky man sees)
Waxeth and waneth not, Unchanged of all,
Him only 'God,' Him only 'Great,' I call."

Well spak'st thou, Friend of Allah. None
Is "great" except the Greatest One.





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