Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 40. AL-MUKIT, by EDWIN ARNOLD

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PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 40. AL-MUKIT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The chapter of 'the inevitable:' we gave
Last Line: Thine are we: truth thy scripture saith.
Subject(s): God; Islam

Praise Al-Mukit, the great "Maintainer!" He
Made us, and makes our sustenance to be.

The chapter of "the Inevitable:" We gave
The life ye live; why doubt ye We can save
What once hath been from wasting—if We will—
When, like dry corn, man lieth in his grave?

Did ye cause seed to grow or was it We,—
Wherefrom spring all the many lives that be?
Who stirred the pulse which couples man and maid,
And in the fruit hid that which forms the tree?

Ye go afield to scatter grain, and then
Sleep, while We change it into bread for men;
Have ye bethought why seed should shoot, not sand,
Granite, or gravel? Why the gentle rain

Falleth so clean and sweet from out Our sky,
Which might be salt and black and bitter? Why
The soft clouds gather it from off the seas
To spread it o'er the pastures by and by?

The flame ye strike rubbing Afâr and Markh,
Have ye considered that strange yellow spark?
Did ye conceive such marvel, or did We
Grant it, to warm and cheer men in the dark?

Not now, but when the soul comes to the neck,
The meaning of those mercies each shall reck.
Then are We nearest, though ye see it not;
Can ye that summoned spirit order back?

Nay, Al-Mukit! in life and death
Thine are we: Truth Thy Scripture saith.

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