Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, And saw, within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom, An angel writing in a book of gold : Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold, And to the presence in the room he said,
” What writest thou ? “The vision raised its head, And with a look made of all sweet accord, Answered, ” The names of those who love the Lord.” ” And is mine one ? ” said Abou. ” Nay, not so,” Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low, But cheerly still ; and said, ” I pray thee then, Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And to ! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.
Abou Ben Adhem (a’boo ben a’dem). may his tribe increase : it is customary in Arabic literature to throw in such a phrase of blessing after mentioning the name of a saint.