Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WAR IN EUROPE: 1915; ABDALLAH OF CAIRO SPEAKS, by EDNA DEAN PROCTOR



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE WAR IN EUROPE: 1915; ABDALLAH OF CAIRO SPEAKS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By the prophet! If these be christians, where shall / we find the heathen?
Last Line: I will repeat the fátiha and leave them to their doom!
Alternate Author Name(s): Dean
Subject(s): Muslims; Prayer; Religion; World War I; Moslems; Theology; First World War


BY the Prophet! If these be Christians, where shall we find the Heathen?
If this is their gospel of Love, where shall we look for Hate?
With the lilies of Peace their Jesus in temple and shrine is wreathen,
But they raven like wolves in the fold when the moon is late.

And for what? For the market; for greed of gold and dominion;
To rule to the uttermost sea and the shores no foot has trod;
Their impious fleets sail the sky, but never a pinion
Bears the beleaguered spirit to regions above the clod.

A blast of the desert were we in our fervor, our valor,
From Khalid to Amrou and Musa, lords of the Western world!
Alike in the flush of triumph, the death angel's pallor,
We were soldiers of God and our banners were only in Paradise furled!

These carry their Goddess with them — the Virgin they dare bedizen
With jewels and robe of silver or fret of gold to her feet;
Blessed, thrice blessed be Allah! the soul that to Him has risen
Nor images needs, nor temples, the merciful Lord to greet!

Pleasant the cool of the mosque, the fountain, the soaring column;
Dear the call of the muezzin to prayer at the day's decline;
But the wind of the waste can summon in tones more tenderly solemn,
For the East and the West are Allah's — the wilderness-ways a shrine.

So, if this infidel host at the Moslem gates should thunder,
We know that beneath the tumult will be Allah's eternal calm;
Aye, if to prove our faith the walls should be rent asunder,
He will build them again more grandly for the glory of Islam!

By the Prophet! If these be Christians, where shall we find the Heathen?
If this is their gospel of Love, where shall we look for Hate?
With the lilies of Peace their Jesus in temple and shrine is wreathen,
But they raven like wolves in the fold when the moon is late.

Hark to the roar of battle! the wail for the dead and the dying!
Prating of light these Christians have shrouded the earth in gloom;
Each unto God or Goddess for conquest and gain is crying —
I will repeat the Fátiha and leave them to their doom!





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