Poem Hunter
Abou Ben Adhem
(19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859 / Southgate, London)

Abou Ben Adhem

Poem 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 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

User Rating: 4,1 / 5 ( 116 votes ) 92

Comments (92)

Lovely Poem thank you
I remember this poem from when I was a very small child, unable to sleep, a lifelong problem, and my father used to try to amuse me. This poem was amongst others he taught me along with the alphabet and multiplication tables. Still love it and it's relevance to life now.
A little redundant, and, still, like a child's tale, important.
I wish to print this poem, Abou Ben Adam, in an anthology of peacemaking stories for a not for profit organization (unitastcinc.org) . Where do I get the permission to do so?
I learnt this poem when I was in secondary school and I presented it at our schools prize giving day with our parents invited! Our Irish teacher taught us many poems and a lot of Irish old songs too. I still sing them....! I am going to teach my grand children too!