British Muslim Heritage > Poetry 
Yahya-En-Nasr Parkinson
Often have I wandered lonely
In the woodland 'mid the lime trees;
Where the solitude was deepest;
Thro' among the waving brackens,
Or amid the rhododendrons;
Plucking blossoms of the hawthorn,
Pulling flowers of honeysuckle;
Where the sparrows they were chatt'ring,
And the blackbirds loudly whistled,
Far away from busy cities
With their smoky air, and chimneys
Reaching skyward, tall and spiry;
Sending forth the fumes of midnight,
Air polluting, fitful breathing.
From the traffic thunder rolling,
In the daytime, in the night time;
Always streaming 'long the pavement;
Never ending, trampling, trampling;
Busy thousands ever going
Ceaseless o'er the stony pathway.
Some with careless print of manhood
Written on their laughing faces;
Thinking on their past enjoyment.
Or of joys that lie before them;
Life to them is but a playtime;
Dreaming not of future sorrow,
Or of tortures, pains, and hardships,
That the flying hours are bringing.
Pale-faced men and sickly women
On the seething river drifting,
At the mercy of its waters;
Now engulfed within the vortex,
Now upborn upon the billows;
Ever striving, ever struggling,
To evade the fate before them;
Prostitution stalking shameless;
Womanhood in tattered garments,
Stranded wrecks upon the pavement;
In the gutter prone and sodden;
In a tawdry, drunken stupor,
Face and form no longer human.
While with heedless eyes averted,
Fellow-men are by them passing;
Scarce an arm is raised in helping,
For to stay them in their falling;
Not a word of fellow-feeling,
Voice unheard of mercy pleading;
While in thousands men are dying,
Sinking in the social vortex,
In a hell of lust and passion.
Why this misery and anguish,
That the people they are bearing;
Why this crying, this despairing;
Are not Nature's bounties spreading
Wide along the earth so spacious;
With a lavish hand she's casting
Food in plenty for the gleaning;
Why should people grind their brothers,
Trample them like armies marching
O'er a field of mangled foemen?
Shall the earth upon its journey
Spinning onward through the ether;
With its heavy weight of sorrow,
Spin from age to age forever;
Men make slaves of fellow-creatures.
Wake! ye lowly sons of labour,
Rise and boldly strike for freedom;
Has the past's ignoble serfdom
Brought ye to such low debasement,
So crushed out your aspirations
And enslaved your budding manhood,
That ye fear to raise your voices;
Fear to stand for truth and honour;
For the freedom of the lowly?
We have not the blood of Normans
Glowing warm with every throbbing,
Pouring through our hearts' strong chambers;
But we have the strength of duty,
And an inborn love of freedom
Strongly surging in our bosoms;
And we have a blest intuition
Of a something far diviner,
Than the slaving of the nations,
Or the crushing of a brother:
Hearts have we alive to pity;
And emotions that are truest
To the mothers dear that bore us;
With a thought for one another,
And a love for even the lowest
Of the things upon earth's surface;
In the mountains or the valleys,
In the densest of the jungle,
On the sandy wastes of Afric,
And the hills of Hindustani.
Pioneers of thought and progress
Raise your standards high and higher;
Give your banners to the tempest
Tossing folds before the people.
What care we for lightnings flashing,
Or the rolling thunders pealing,
In the forefront of the army
Of the pioneers of freedom?
On ye leaders of the vanguard!
Wheel your forces into action;
See the purple shades of morning
Flaming thro' the night's dark tresses;
Steady ye the men of action,
Steady for the furious onset,
Banners waving, weapons gleaming;
Hand to hand the foe encounter;
Voices raising to their loudest,
Teachers of a true evangel.

From the city labour ridden
To the forest, to the mountain;
Be at one with singing nature,
In the mystic base of substance,
In the all-absorbing ether;
Drinking in the boundless nectar;
Breathing air, free, unpolluted;
Standing on a wind-swept mountain
With the winds about you playing;
With your naked bosom breasting
Surges of the a๋rial ocean;
Not for us the humming city
With its reeking filth of slumdom,
Full of dirty courts and alleys;
Fashioned by the guilt of ages,
Degradation of the people.
Let us to the lonely streamlets,
Let us to the woods and valleys;
Where the plane-tree spreads its branches;
Where the stormy winds are rushing
Thro' the sycamores and cedars,
Thro' the lime trees and the willows;
When the Autumn spreads its glory,
Turns the leaves to brown and golden;
When the river fitful gushing
Rushes 'neath the drooping willow;
Beating 'gainst the lowest branches,
And in mimic whirlpools running;
In the centre of the current
Where the water surges strongest;
Bends its bosom like a bowstring,
As it dashes in its fury
Onward thro' the reeds and sedges;
Leaping free to kiss the willows;
Like a serpent, twining, gliding,	
On to where the winds are reeling
On the bosom of the ocean;
On to mingle with its waters;
Where a scene of wintry sunset
Bursts upon the wond'ring vision;
Skies enwrought with crimson lining,
Fields of yellow, lake, and purple;
Lighted by the fiery ashes
Of a thousand Krakatoas.

There is nought on earth so noble,
Nothing so divine and holy,
As the strongest of the passions;
That awakes within our bosoms
Love for every sentient creature;
And for every wild flower blowing,
Waving in the summer breezes,
On the lofty top of mountains,
Or within the shady hedgerows,
Or secluded depths of valleys;
Poppies growing on the hillside,
Roses blooming in the garden,
Tenderness in every action,
In our dealings with our fellows;
And a deep responsive feeling
In their joy and in their sorrow;
Sympathy with every being,
With the poorest and the lowest,
With the sickly and the needy;
Looking on them as our brothers.
Love it is the highest ideal
That the human mind can rise to;
Nobler far than states or princedoms,
Or the sovereign rights of empire;
Empires are but transient glories
Worn upon the brow of ages,
Hollow mockeries of a grandeur
Only glittering on the surface.
'Way with such a fleeting glory;
Give to us the love that's lasting,
As the earth on which we're living
As the heavens in its beauty,
As the star-lines in its brightness,
Or the star-depths in its deepness;
Spacious as the very cosmos,
Bounded not by earthly limits;
Love far greater than a mother's
Who will die to save her offspring,
Give her life for their protection;
Not a love the tiger knows of,
Or the lion in the desert,
Or the bird has for its young ones;
But a love as comprehensive
As the human thought can fathom.
Only they alone are righteous
Who have love for all their brethren,
In this sphere of pain and labour;
And for every moving creature
Living on the world's wide body;
Love divine and everlasting;
Deepest of the soul's outpourings,
Breathings of a thing diviner
Than the swimming, glowing cosmos;
Than the blaze of constellations
Showering star-dust through the spaces;
Flower of all the human yearnings
For a better frame of spirit.
Give us but the power of living;
Teach us we are one with nature,
Part of parcel of the mountains,	
Of the rivers and the ocean,
Of the air and rustling plane-trees,
Flowers and earth and ocean fauna;
We by Nature's bonds united
Like the stars to one another. | British Muslim Heritage