Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SHEKH ABDALLAH, by CLINTON SCOLLARD



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THE SHEKH ABDALLAH, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: What does the shekh abdallah do
Last Line: In the long, dull time of the ramadan.
Subject(s): Faith; Lebanon; Ramadan; Belief; Creed


What does the Shekh Abdallah do
In the long, dull time of the Ramadan?
Why, he rises and says his prayers, and then
He sleeps till the prayer-hour comes again;
And thus through the length of the weary day
Does he sleep and pray, and sleep and pray.
Whenever the swart muezzin calls
From the crescent-guarded minaret walls,
Up he leaps and bows his turbaned brows
Toward Mecca, this valiant and holy man,
The Shekh Abdallah -- praise be to Allah! --
In the long, dull time of the Ramadan.

What does the Shekh Abdallah do
In the long, dull time of the Ramadan?
Why, he fasts and fasts without reprieve
From the blush of morn till the blush of eve.
Never so much as a sip takes he
Of the fragrant juice of the Yemen berry;
He shakes no fruit from the citron tree,
Nor plucks the pomegranate, nor tastes the cherry.
His sandal beads seem to tell of deeds
That were wrought by the hand of the holy man,
The Shekh Abdallah -- praise be to Allah! --
In the long, dull time of the Ramadan.

What does the Shekh Abdallah do
In the long, dull time of the Ramadan?
Why, he calls his servants, and just as soon
As in the copses the night-birds croon,
A roasted kid is brought steaming in,
And then does the glorious feast begin;
Smyrna figs and nectarines fine,
Golden flasks of Lebanon wine,
Sherbet of rose and pistachios,
All are spread for the holy man,
The Shekh Abdallah -- praise be to Allah! --
In the long, dull time of the Ramadan.

What does the Shekh Abdallah do
In the long, dull time of the Ramadan?
Why, when the cloying feast is o'er,
Dancers foot it along the floor;
Night-long to the sound of lute and viol
There is wine-mad mirth and the lilt of song,
And loving looks that brood no denial
From a radiant, rapturous throng.
"Morn calls to prayers, now away with cares!"
He cries (this faithful and holy man!)
The Shekh Abdallah -- praise be to Allah! --
In the long, dull time of the Ramadan.





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