Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem

By James Henry Leigh Hunt

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 all of  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 cheerily 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, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!


About therevr

A human being, striving to become more so.

Posted on October 28, 2006, in Classic, Old, Poetry, Quoted, Spiritual, Theological. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This poem was one that my father, Edward F. Buehler (1907-1989), used to like to recite from memory. It revealed something about his own perspective on theological matters. Dad was a lay pastor for five years at a little country chapel near our house, when I was between two and eight years old.

    Speaking of poems that Dad used to like to recite, I need to find a copy of “A Shop-Girl’s Christmas.” Oops, guess I did.

  2. This is such a lovely poem.

    I think it’s wrong to say that religion is “personal”. It may be private but it’s not personal. Religion is about community — it’s about interpersonal and intersubjective exchange.

  3. An old favorite, and still a favorite.

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