Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 91, by EDWIN ARNOLD



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PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 91, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: No beast of earth, no fowl that flies with wings
Last Line: Ere ye are heard pleading with heaven.
Subject(s): God; Islam


"Propitious" is He unto those that show
Compassion to His creatures; praise Him se.

"No beast of earth, no fowl that flies with wings,"
Saith the great Book, "but is a people, too;
From Allah sprang their life, and unto Him
They shall return; with such heed what ye do!"

There came before our Lord a certain one
Who said, "Oh, Prophet! as I passed the wood,
I heard the voice of youngling doves which cried,
While near the nest their pearl-necked mother cooed."

"Then in my cloth I tied those fledgelings twain,
But all the way the mother fluttered nigh;
See! she hath followed hither!" Spake our Lord:
"Open thy knotted cloth, and stand thou by."

But when she spied her nestlings, from the palm
Down flew the dove, of peril unafeared
So she might succor these. "Seest thou not,"
Our Lord said, "how the heart of this poor bird

"Grows, by her love, greater than his who rides
Full-face against the spear-blades? Thinkest thou
Such fire divine was kindled to be quenched?
I tell ye may! Put back upon the bough

"The nest she claimeth thus. I tell ye nay!
From Allah's self cometh this wondrous love'
Yea! and I swear by Him who sent me here,
He is more tender than a nursing dove,

"More pitiful to men than she to these.
Therefore fear God in whatsoe'er ye deal
With the dumb peoples of the wing and hoof.
Yours are they; yet whene'er ye lift the steel

"To slay for meat, name first the name of God,
Saying 'Bi 'sm 'illah! God judge thee and me!
God give thee patience to endure to-day
The portion that He hath allotted thee.'

"So shall ye eat and sin not; else the blood
Crieth against you." Thus our Prophet spake,
And Islâm doeth it, naming God's name
Before the slaughter,—for that white dove's sake

By those dumb mouths be ye forgiven,
Ere ye are heard pleading with Heaven.





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