Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 8. MUHAIMIN, by EDWIN ARNOLD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 8. MUHAIMIN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The spider and the dove! - what thing is weak
Last Line: Us, for his sake within that cave.
Subject(s): God; Islam

Call Him Muhaimin, "Help in danger's hour,"
Protector of the true who trust His power.

The spider and the dove!—what thing is weak
If Allah makes it strong?
The spider and the dove!—if He protect,
Fear thou not foemen's wrong.

From Mecca to Medina fled our Lord,
The horsemen followed fast;
Into a cave to shun their murderous rage,
Muhammad, weary, passed.

Quoth Abu Bekr, "If they see, we die!"
Quoth Ebn Foheir, "Away!"
The guide Abdallah said, "The sand is deep,
Those footmarks will betray."

Then spake our Lord, "We are not four, but Five;
'He Who protects' is here.
Come! Al-Muhaimin now will blind their eyes;
Enter, and have no fear."

The band drew nigh; one of the Koreish cried,
"Search ye out yonder cleft,
I see the print of sandaled feet which turn
Thither, upon the left!"

But when they drew unto the cavern's mouth,
Lo! at its entering-in,
A ring-necked desert dove sate on her eggs;
The mate cooed soft within.

And right athwart the shadow of the cave
A spider's web was spread;
The creature hung upon her net at watch;
Unbroken was each thread.

"By Thammuz' blood," the unbelievers cried,
"Our toil and time are lost;
Where doves hatch and the spider spins her snare
No foot of man hath crossed!"

Thus did a desert bird and spider guard
The blessèd Prophet then;
For all things serve their Maker and their God
Better than thankless men.

Allah-al-Muhaimin! shield and save
Us, for his sake within that cave.

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