To Abu’l-Ala

In thy melancholy’s pensive Fancy
    Wisdom rolled its beauteous stars and moons,
Just as in my riotings of pleasure
    Thy lone midnights roll into my noons.

Abu’l-Ala, in thy glorious darkness
    Didst thou not remember unborn me?
In thy journey to the farthest planets
    Didst thou not a burdened shadow see?

Ay, behind the portals of Saturnus
    Secretly the cup to thee I passed;
Long, long after this cup thou returnest
    Filled with gems of fancy and recast.

In thy Prison a thousand Yamen weapons
    Thou didst forge for the oppressed and weak:
In my attic a thousand Beauty roses
    I pluck for thee from a Yankee cheek.


From Myrtle and Myrrh (The Gorham Press, 1905) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.