Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 29. AL-HAKIM, by EDWIN ARNOLD



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PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 29. AL-HAKIM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When the sun is withered up
Last Line: Who might abide that awful hour?
Subject(s): God; Islam


Al-Hâkim! think upon the Day of Doom,
And fear "the Judge" before Whom all must come.

When the sun is withered up,
And the stars from Heaven roll;
When the mountains quake,
And ye let stray your she-camels,
Gone ten months in foal;
When wild beasts flock
With the people and the cattle
In terror, in amazement,
And the seas boil and rattle;
And the dead souls
For their bodies seek;
And the child vilely slain
Is bid to speak,
Being asked, "Who killed thee, little maid?
Tell us his name!"
While the books are unsealed,
And crimson flame
Flayeth the skin of the skies,
And Hell breaks ablaze;
And Paradise
Opens her beautiful gates to the gaze;—
Then shall each soul
Know the issues of the whole,
And the balance of its scroll.
Shall We swear by the stars
Which fade away?
By the Night drowned in darkness,
By the dead Day?
We swear not! A true thing is this;
It standeth sure,
He saw it and he heard, and Our word
Will endure!

When the sky cleaves asunder,
And the stars
Are scattered; and in thunder
All the bars
Of the seas burst, and all the graves are emptied
Like chests upturned,
Each soul shall see her doings, done and undone,
And what is earned.
The smiting, the smiting
Of that Day!
The horror, the splendor,
Who shall say?
The Day when none shall answer for his brother;
The Day which is with God, and with none other.

Al-Hâkim! Judge! Save by thy power,
Who might abide that awful hour?





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