Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 24. AR-RAFI, by EDWIN ARNOLD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 24. AR-RAFI, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Whom hath he chosen for his priests and preachers
Last Line: Nor any low whom he doth call.
Subject(s): God; Humility; Islam

Ar-Râfi! the "Exalter!" laud him so
Who loves the humble and lifts up the low.

Whom hath He chosen for His priests and preachers,
Lords who were eminent, or men of might?
Nay, but consider how He seeks His teachers,
Hidden, like rubies unaware of light.

Ur of the Chaldees! What chance to discover
Th' elect of Heaven in Azar's leathern tent?
But Allah saw His child, and friend, and lover,
And Abraham was born, and sealed, and sent.

The babe committed to th' Egyptian water!
Knew any that the tide of Nilus laved
The hope of Israel there? Yet Pharaoh's daughter
Found the frail ark, and so was Moses saved.

Low lies the Syrian town behind the mountain
Where Mary, meek and spotless, knelt that morn,
And saw the splendid Angel by the fountain,
And heard his voice, "Lord Isa shall be born!"

Nay, and Muhammad (blessèd may he be!),
Abdallah's and Amînah's holy son,
Whom black Halîmah nursed, the Bedawee,
Where lived a lonelier or a humbler one?

Think how he led the camels of Khadijah,
Poor, but illumined by the light of Heaven;
Mightier than Noah, or Enoch, or Elijah,
Our holy Prophet, to Arabia given.

Man knew him not, wrapped in his cloth, and weeping
Lonely on Hirâ all that wondrous night;
But Allah for His own our Lord was keeping:—
"Rise, thou enwrapped one!" Gabriel spake, "and write."

Save God there is none high at all,
Nor any low whom He doth call.

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