Prayer in the Desert

O Lord of Bounties, melt thy heaven’s breath,
Which spreads its gold around the head of Death,
Which, while it smiles, devours all living things,
Giving to Desolation wondrous wings:
Lest in the waste Arabia’s star should wane,
A little rain, Allah, a little rain.

Thou Bountiful, thy Sun is weaving fast
The shroud of Earth now in the sand-storm cast;
Earth can not weep,the well of faith is run,
Its rivers and its desert sands are one:
O thou Bestower, once more sustain
Thy sun-crowned Daughter with a little rain.

Quiet this rising phantom-haunted sea
Of sands; the Faithful from its fury free;
Enchain the monsters of the dire simoom,
Let not the desert be thy children’s tomb.
Thou Merciful, assist us to attain
Our goal,––a little rain, a little rain!

Arabia’s thousand wounds to thee appeal,
And with our lips its gaping wounds we seal;
Prostrate upon the sands we lift our hearts,
Pierced in thy presence by thy flaming darts.
Thy children, Allah, in the throes of pain,
Pray for a little rain, a little rain!

From A Chant of Mystics (James T. White & Co., 1921) by Ameen Rihani. This poem is in the public domain.