Age of Jahiliyah

A blog of wide and varied interest, including Islam, Muslims, Poetry, Art and much more.

Archive for the month “February, 2011”

Shaykh Hajjaj Hindawi Recites Surah Hujurat and Haqqah

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Design by Robert Frost

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth —
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth —
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?–
If design govern in a thing so small.

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
O luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.


Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost

Nature’s first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost

I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
Before I came to view the levelled scene.

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze.

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, as he had been,–alone,

`As all must be,’ I said within my heart,
`Whether they work together or apart.’

But as I said it, swift there passed me by
On noiseless wing a ‘wildered butterfly,

Seeking with memories grown dim o’er night
Some resting flower of yesterday’s delight.

And once I marked his flight go round and round,
As where some flower lay withering on the ground.

And then he flew as far as eye could see,
And then on tremulous wing came back to me.

I thought of questions that have no reply,
And would have turned to toss the grass to dry;

But he turned first, and led my eye to look
At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook,

A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared
Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared.

I left my place to know them by their name,
Finding them butterfly weed when I came.

The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
By leaving them to flourish, not for us,

Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him.
But from sheer morning gladness at the brim.

The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, a message from the dawn,

That made me hear the wakening birds around,
And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground,

And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone;

But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
And weary, sought at noon with him the shade;

And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach.

`Men work together,’ I told him from the heart,
`Whether they work together or apart.’



Near Helikon by Trumbull Stickney

By such an all-embalming summer day
As sweetens now among the mountain pines
Down to the cornland yonder and the vines,
To where the sky and sea are mixed in gray,
How do all things together take their way
Harmonious to the harvest, bringing wines
And bread and light and whatsoe’er combines
In the large wreath to make it round and gay.
To me my troubled life doth now appear
Like scarce distinguishable summits hung
Around the blue horizon: places where
Not even a traveller purposeth to steer, —
Whereof a migrant bird in passing sung,
And the girl closed her window not to hear.

The Poet by Paul Laurence Dunbar

He sang of life, serenely sweet,
With, now and then, a deeper note.
From some high peak, nigh yet remote,
He voiced the world’s absorbing beat.

He sang of love when earth was young,
And Love, itself, was in his lays.
But, ah, the world, it turned to praise
A jingle in a broken tongue.


Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals–
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting–
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,–
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings–
I know why the caged bird sings!


Mr. Flood’s Party by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Old Eben Flood, climbing alone one night

Over the hill between the town below

And the forsaken upland hermitage

That held as much as he should ever know

On earth again of home, paused warily.

The road was his with not a native near;

And Eben, having leisure, said aloud,

For no man else in Tilbury Town to hear:

“Well, Mr. Flood, we have the harvest moon

Again, and we may not have many more;

The bird is on the wing, the poet says,

And you and I have said it here before.

Drink to the bird.” He raised up to the light

The jug that he had gone so far to fill,

And answered huskily: “Well, Mr. Flood,

Since you propose it, I believe I will.”

Alone, as if enduring to the end

A valiant armor of scarred hopes outworn.

He stood there in the middle of the road

Like Roland’s ghost winding a silent horn.

Below him, in the town among the trees,

Where friends of other days had honored him,

A phantom salutation of the dead

Rang thinly till old Eben’s eyes were dim.

Then, as a mother lays her sleeping child

Down tenderly, fearing it may awake,

He sat the jug down slowly at his feet

With trembling care, knowing that most things break;

And only when assured that on firm earth

It stood, as the uncertain lives of men

Assuredly did not, he paced away,

And with his hand extended paused again:

“Well, Mr. Flood, we have not met like this

In a long time; and many a change has come

To both of us, I fear, since last it was

We had a drop together. Welcome home!”

Convivially returning with himself,

Again he raised the jug up to the light;

And with an acquiescent quaver said:

“Well, Mr. Flood, if you insist, I might.

“Only a very little, Mr. Flood–

For auld lang syne. No more, sir; that will do.”

So, for the time, apparently it did

And Eben apparently thouht so too;

For soon among the silver loneliness

Of night he lifted up his voice and sang,

Secure, with only two moons listening,

Until the whole harmonious landscape rang–

“For auld lang syne.” The weary throat gave out,

The last word wavered, and the song was done.

He raised again the jug regretfully

And shook his head, and was again alone.

There was not much that was ahead of him,

And there was nothing in the town below–

Where strangers would have shut the many doors

That many friends had opened long ago.


Bewick Finzer by Edwin Arlington Robinson

Time was when his half million drew

The breath of six per cent;

But soon the worm of what-was-not

Fed hard on his content;

And something crumbled in his brain

When his half million went.

Time passed, and filled along with his

The place of many more;

Time came, and hardly one of us

Had credence to restore,

From what appeared one day, the man

Whom we had known before.

The broken voice, the withered neck,

The coat worn out with care,

The cleanliness of indigence,

The brilliance of despair,

The fond imponderable dreams

Of affluence,–all were there.

Poor Finzer, with his dreams and schemes,

Fares hard now in the race,

With heart and eye that have a task

When he looks in the eye

Of one who might so easily

Have been in Finzer’s place.

He comes unfailing for the loan

We give and then forget;

He comes, and probably for years

Will he be coming yet,–

Familiar as an old mistake,

And futile as regret.


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