Among the English poetries that I still enjoy, apart from Wordsworth, Blake, etc., this particular one has been ringing in my ears since my primary school days.
Abou Ben Adham
Abou Ben Adham (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 bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adham bold,
And to the presence in his 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 who 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.
By Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)
Not just beautifully written by Leigh Hunt, but the noble message, reminds me of that of Imam al Ghazali's in one of the chapters of Ihya' 'Uluumid Din (The Revival of Sciences of the Religion), on ikhlas and mahhabah. In the quest for closeness to God, Abou displayed sincerity and unselfishness and that brought the angel back to inform him of the good tidings for him.
Sayyidina 'Ali Karramallahu wajhah, once complained to the Holy Prophet SAW, that he finds it difficult to have the presence of the heart in prayers (Khusyuk), thus how could he love Allah? The Holy Prophet advised that if he finds it difficult to love Allah, then he should strongly love those who love Allah.
Allahuma aj'al hubbaka,
Oh Lord made me love You,
and all those who love You.
But coming to think of it, if Leigh Hunt is still to be alive today, would she write it for Abou ben Adham? What is Abou? A Muslim or a Jew? If she is to write of a Muslim Abou, it would be rejected due to the Muslims' synonimity to terrorism. But if he is a Jew, then it would be probably worse for now Abou could be associated to a radical Zionist activist or oppressor. Surely she wouldn't write of the person being George Bush either.