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 (82)

I had to memorize this poem, as well as Hiawatha, School Days, The Day is Done, and Paul Revere's Ride and probably a couple more that I no longer remember, when I was in fifth grade English.
This was a memorization assignment in Grade 4. I have never forgotten it. I'm 73 now.
My sister use to tell me this poem when I was about 7yrs old that was in the 1940s, and I still love it,
I am 78 and remember my mother reciting this and many other poems and singing many songs to us when we were children in the 40s. There was no TV, phones nor other media we have today and mothers connected with the children much more. She taught school for 34 years and has been passed away for 20 years now and greatly missed. I'm so glad I found this poem. She recited it with much feeling!
Atouching one Blessing The humblest soul God Is with the Humble and lowly
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