Abou Ben Adhem

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 lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.


Anonymous Submission

by James Henry Leigh Hunt

Comments (65)

I remember the poem studied in the seventh standard and found after 50 years 😊
My mom read this poem to me as a child Have loved it since
Strangely this poem was running through my head this morning, I leaned it in school way back in 50's. As I'm reading the comments it seems like many have had the same experience. I never analysed it, The only sense I can make of it, is Jesus told us to love our neighbor, he said how can you love God if you don't love your fellow men. So it kinda makes sense Abou, should love his fellow men. I personally find it's much easier to love God than my fellow men.
Some of the comments/reactions to this poem are unkind. What do you suppose Jesus meant when he said I have sheep in other pastures, or when he held up the good Samaritan (heretics that did not have the right faith) , as an example of faithful love?
This is a sacrilegious poem. Abu does not love the lord and he says he just loves my fellow man and then he is placed first in the book of gold that you are suppose to love god to get into. This is a teaching from an atheist that threw out the greatest commandment. In my poem Abu is going straight to if he does not change his ways It is so easy to be blinded by something that seems to end so well but it is a Lie straight from.
See More