The Birth of the Prophet

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The Birth of the Prophet  (1855) 
by Bayard Taylor


THRICE three moons had waxed in heaven, thrice three moons had waned away,
Since Abdullah, faint and thirsty, on the Desert's bosom lay
In the fiery lap of Summer, the meridian of the day;


Since from out the sand upgushing, lo ! a sudden fountain leapt ;
Sweet as musk and clear as amber, to his parching lips it crept.
When he drank it straightway vanished, but his blood its virtue kept.


Ere the morn his forehead's lustre, signet of the Prophet's line,
To the beauty of Amina had transferred its flame divine :
Of the germ within her sleeping, such the consecrated sign.


And with every moon that faded waxed the splendor more and more,
Till Amina s beauty lightened through the matron veil she wore,
And the tent was filled with glory, and of Heaven it seemed the door.


When her quickened womb its burden had matured, and Life began
Struggling in its living prison, through the wide Creation ran
Premonitions of the coming of a God-appointed man.


For the oracles of Nature recognize a Prophet's birth
Blossom of the tardy ages, crowning type of human worth
And by miracles and wonders he is welcomed to the Earth.


Then the stars in heaven grew brighter, stooping down ward from their zones ;
Wheeling round the towers of Mecca, sang the moon in silver tones,
And the Kaaba's grisly idols trembled on their granite thrones.


Mighty arcs of rainbow splendor, pillared shafts of purple fire,
Split the sky and spanned the darkness, and with many a golden spire,
Beacon-like, from all the mountains streamed the lambent meteors higher.


But when first the breath of being to the sacred infant came,
Paled the pomp of airy lustre, and the stars grew dim with shame,
For the glory of his countenance outshone their feebler flame.


Over Nedjid's sands it lightened, unto Oman's coral deep,
Startling all the gorgeous regions of the Orient from sleep,
Till, a sun on night new-risen, it illumed the Indian steep.


They who dwelt in Mecca's borders saw the distant realms appear
All around the vast horizon, shining marvellous and clear,
From the gardens of Damascus unto those of Bendomeer.


From the colonnades of Tadmor to the hills of Hadramaut,
Ancient Araby was lighted, and her sands the splendor caught,
Till the magic sweep of vision overtook the track of Thought.


Such on Earth the wondrous glory, but beyond the sevenfold skies
God His mansions filled with gladness, and the seraphs saw arise
Palaces of pearl and ruby from the founts of Paradise.


As the surge of heavenly anthems shook the solemn midnight air,
From the shrines of false religions came a wailing of despair,
And the fires on Pagan altars were extinguished every where.


Mid the sounds of salutation, mid the splendor and the balm,
Knelt the sacred child, proclaiming, with a brow of heavenly calm :
" God is God; there is none other; I his chosen Prophet am!"

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.