Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Abou Ben Adhem
By Leigh Hunt (1784–1859)
 
ABOU BEN ADHEM, (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw within the moonlight in the room,
Making it rich and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold;        5
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.”        10
“And is mine one?” said Adhem. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Adhem spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow-men.”
The angel wrote and vanished; the next night        15
He came again with a great wakening light,
And showed their names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.
 
 
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