Letter to Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad

By: Abdullah ibn al Mubarak (786)

O ye who worships in the vicinity of the Two Holy Masjids!
If you but see us, you will realise that you are only jesting in worship.

He who brings wetness to his cheek with his tears
should know that our necks are being wet by our blood.

He who tires his horses without purpose,
now that our horses are getting tired in battle. Continue reading “Letter to Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad”

All Roads Lead to Rome

By: Louis Grudin (1922)

She bore the smear of insult on her face,
And heard the ruffian voices, and the din
Of penny horns and whistles that had been
Her heart; and she knew only this disgrace—

That one had dressed her in a ragged gown.
Caesar had been met in various ways;
Like thought too vast to feel or to erase,
She knew the hosts of Rome were sweeping down Continue reading “All Roads Lead to Rome”

To “My People,” Before the “Great Offensive”

By: Eric Fitzwater Wilkinson (1916)

Dark with uncertainty of doubtful doom
The future looms across the path we tread;
Yet, undismayed we gaze athwart the gloom,
Prophetically tinged with hectic red.
The mutterings of conflict, sullen, deep,
Surge over homes where hopeless tears are shed,
And ravens their ill-omened vigils keep
O’er legions dead. Continue reading “To “My People,” Before the “Great Offensive””

Dad o’ Mine

By: Eric Fitzwater Wilkinson (1916)

MIDSUMMER-DAY, and the mad world a-fighting,
Fighting in holes, Dad o’ Mine.
Nature’s old spells are no longer delighting
Passion-filled souls, Dad o’ Mine.
Vainly the birds in the branches are singing,
Vainly the sunshine its message is bringing,
Over the green-clad earth stark hate is flinging
Shadow for shine, Dad o’ Mine,
Shadow for shine. Continue reading “Dad o’ Mine”

To a Mother

By: Eden Phillpotts (1917)

Robbed mother of the stricken Motherland—
Two hearts in one and one among the dead,
Before your grave with an uncovered head
I, that am man, disquiet and silent stand
In reverence. It is your blood they shed;
It is your sacred self that they demand,
For one you bore in joy and hope, and planned
Would make yourself eternal, now has fled. Continue reading “To a Mother”