To the Caliph Harun-al-Rashid

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To the Caliph Harun-al-Rashid
by Ibrahim Ben Adham, translated by Epiphanius Wilson
The author of this poem was a hermit of Syria, equally celebrated for his talents and piety. He was son to a prince of Khorasan, and born about the ninety-seventh year of the Hegira. This poem was addressed to the Caliph upon his undertaking a pilgrimage to Mecca.

  Religion's gems can ne'er adorn
  The flimsy robe by pleasure worn;
  Its feeble texture soon would tear,
  And give those jewels to the air.

  Thrice happy they who seek th' abode
  Of peace and pleasure, in their God!
  Who spurn the world, its joys despise,
  And grasp at bliss beyond the skies.