Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 48. AL-WADOOD, by EDWIN ARNOLD



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PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 48. AL-WADOOD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sweet seem your wedded days; and dear and tender
Last Line: Is but the shadow, lord, of thee.
Subject(s): God; Islam


"The Loving"—Al-Wadood! ah, title dear,
Whereby Thy children praise Thee, free of fear

Sweet seem your wedded days; and dear and tender
Your children's talk; brave 'tis to hear the tramp
Of pastured horses; and to see the splendor
Of gold and silver plunder; and to camp

With goats and camels by the bubbling fountain;
And to drink fragrance from the desert wind,
And to sit silent on the mighty mountain;
And all the joys which make life bright and kind.

But ye have heard of streams more brightly flowing
Than those whereby ye wander; of a life
Glorious and glad and pure beyond earth's knowing;
Love without loss, and wealth without the strife.

Lo! we have told you of the golden Garden
Kept for the Faithful, where the soil is still
Wheat-flour and musk and camphire, and fruits harden
To what delicious savor each man will

Upon the Tooba tree; which bends its cluster
To him that doth desire, bearing all meat;
And of the sparkling fountains which out-luster
Diamonds and emeralds, running clear and sweet,

Tasmîn and Salsabîl whose lucent waters
Are rich, delicious, undistracting wine;
And of the Houris, pleasure's perfect daughters,
Virgins of Paradise, whose black eyes shine

Soul-deep with love and langor, having tresses
Night-dark, with scents of the gold-blooming date
And scarlet roses; lavishing caresses
That satisfy, but never satiate;

Whose looks refrain from any save their lover
Whose peerless limbs and bosoms' ivory swell
Are like the ostrich-egg which feathers cover
From stain and dust, so white and rounded well:

Dwelling in marvelous pavilions, builded
Of hollow pearls, wherethrough a great light shines—
Cooled by soft breezes and by glad suns gilded—
On the green pillows where the Blest reclines.

A rich reward it shall be, a full payment
For life's brief trials and sad virtue's stress,
When friends with friends, clad all in festal raiment,
Share in deep Heaven the Angels' happiness;

Nay, and full payment, though ye give those pleasures,
Which make life dear, to fight and die for faith,
Rendering to God your wives and flocks and treasures
That He may pay you tenfold after death.

For, if the bliss of Paradise, transcending
Delights of earth, should win ye to be bold,
Yet know, this glory hath its crown and ending
In Allah's grace, which is the Joy untold,

The Utmost Bliss. Beyond the Happy River
The justified shall see God's face in Heaven,
Live in His sweet good will, and taste forever
Al-Wadood's love, unto His children given.

Yea! for high Heaven's felicity
Is but the shadow, Lord, of Thee.





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