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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Introductory to Arabia

Sheik Huiabi’s Creed

By Semen Sergeevich Bobrov (c. 1763–1810)

From the Khersonida

Translated by J. Bowring

’T IS Allah governs this terrestrial ball,

To all gives laws, as he gave life to all!

He rules the unnumbered circles bright with bliss

That from the ends of heaven send forth their beams:

He rules the space, the infinite abyss,

The undefined and wandering ether streams,

Where thousand, thousand stars and planets play,—

What are the laws that guide them on their way?

They are no perishable records,—laws

Written with pen and ink. No! Allah spreads

The golden roll of nature: o’er our heads

Opens his glorious volume and withdraws

The veil of ignorance: read the letters there,

That is the blazing, burning record, where

The letters are not idle lines, but things:

Read there the name of Allah, dazzling bright,

In works of eloquence and words of light!

Shut, shut all other books; and if thy soul,

Borne upward on devotion’s angel-wings,

Soar to the heaven, from earth and earth’s control,

Thou shalt perceive,—shalt know the Deity.

His splendors then shall burst upon thine eye,

An effluence of noontide round thee roll,

Thy spirit glad with light and love;—a sun

Of pure philosophy to lead thee on.