Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 2. AR-RAHMAN, by EDWIN ARNOLD

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PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 2. AR-RAHMAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Once upon a day, in paradise
Last Line: Thy name, and crave forgiveness.
Subject(s): God; Islam

Say Ar-Rahmân! "The Merciful" Him call;
For He is full of mercy unto all.

Once on a day, in Paradise,
Discourse indignant did arise
Amongst the Angels, seeing how
The sons of Adam sinned below;
Albeit Allah's grace had sent
Prophets with much admonishment.
"Heedless and guilty race," they cried,
"Whose penitence is set aside
At each temptation! Truth and Right
Ye know not!" Then a wondrous light
Fell on their brows—a mighty word
Sounded—the Presence of the Lord
Spake: "Of your number choose ye two
To go among mankind and do
'Justice and Right,' teaching them these."
Therewith, from those bright companies,
Harût went and Marût went down
On earth, laying aside their crown
Of rays, and plumes of rainbow feather;
And on the judgment-seat together
Many long years they sate, and wrought
Just judgment upon each cause brought.

Until, before that justice-seat
There came a woman, fair and sweet,
So ravishing of form and mien
That great Soharah, who is queen
Of the third planet, hath not eyes
As soft, nor mouth made in such wise.
And one whom she did wrong, besought
Sentence against her: she had nought
Of plea, but in her dazzling grace
Stood fearless in the audience-place;
Consuming hearts with hot desire
By subtle Beauty's searching fire.
Then said Harût, forgetting Heaven,
"Pardon to such must, sure, be given."
Whispered Marût, "If thou wilt be
Leman of mine, thou shalt go free."
And for her love those two contended,
Till the false scene was sorely ended
With earthquake, and with lightning flash
And rolling thunder's wrathful crash,
'Midst which the city and the folk
Passed from their ken, and a Voice spoke
"Come unto judgment, ye who called
Allah too merciful!"
Harût lay and Marût lay prone
In Paradise, before the Throne;
Hearing that doom of God, which said:
"Until My trumpet calls the dead,
Dwell on the earth, where ye have learned
The just may unto sin be turned."

Merciful One and just! we bless
Thy name, and crave forgiveness.

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