Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 94. AL-HADI, by EDWIN ARNOLD



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PEARLS OF THE FAITH: 94. AL-HADI, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By many names and guides doth god
Last Line: Is allah—praisèd be the same.
Subject(s): God; Islam


Al-Hâdî! Lord! the way is hard, and we,
Thy creatures, have none other "Guide" than Thee.

By many names and guides doth God
Lead men along the upward road;
He, unto each land under Heaven,
A prophet of its own hath given:
Hûd, Idris, Eyoob, Moses,—all
Upon the selfsame Lord did call;
Seeing there is no way besides
His way, the Guider of the guides;
Nor any light to mortals known
Except Al-Hâdî—His alone.

'Tis told, night to a city-gate
Four fellow-travelers hungry sate,
An Arab, Persian, Turk, and Greek;
And one was chosen forth, to seek
Their evening meal, with dirhems thrown
Into a common script; but none
Could with his fellows there agree
What meat therewith should purchased be.
"Buy uzum," quoth the Turk, "which food
Is cheaper, sweeter, or so good?"
"Not so," the Arab cried, "I say
Buy aneb, and the most ye may."
"Name not thy trash!" the Persian said,
"Who knoweth uzum or aneb?
Bring anghur, for the country's store
Is ripe and rich." The Greek, who bore
Their dirhems, clamored, "What ill thing
Is anghur? Surely I will bring
Staphylion green, staphylion black,
And a fair meal we shall not lack."
Thus wrangled they, and set to try
With blows what provend he should buy,
When, lo! before their eyes did pass,
Laden with grapes, a gardener's ass.
Sprang to his feet each man, and showed
With eager hand, that purple load.
"See uzum!" said the Turk; and "See
Anghur!" the Persian; "what should be
Better?" "Nay, aneb! aneb 'tis!"
The Arab cried. The Greek said, "This
Is my staphylion!" Then they bought
Their grapes in peace.
Hence be ye taught!

But unto us Thy changeless name
Is Allah—praisèd be the same.





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