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Abou Ben Adhem

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


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Abou Ben Adhem

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  • Leigh Hunt was a central figure of the Romantic movement in England, but he was not, as he wished to be and knew he was not, one of its great poets. However, he produced, during the first sixty years of the nineteenth century, a large body of poetry in a variety of forms: narrative poems, satires, poetic dramas, odes, epistles, sonnets, short lyrics, and translations from Greek, Roman, Italian, and French poems. His vivid descriptions and lyrical quality are noteworthy, as is his keen delight in nature, and he is a master of mood and atmosphere. But Hunt is the least philosophical of all the Romantic poets. Rather than having depth and passion, his poetry is imbued with the spirit of cheerfulness, which makes it pleasant but not great. In addition, most of his poems have commonplace themes such as friendship, patriotism, and appreciation of nature, and they are usually...

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