Circumstances Alter Causes.
By Sheikh William Henry Abdullah Quilliam.
Performed by Abdal Hakim Murad.
A rich man proudly walked along
The straight and narrow way;
He lifted up his head in pride
To hear the people say:
“That is a pure and honest man—
The noblest work of God;
He’s built upon a perfect plan,
He virtue’s path has trod.
"No moral law does he transgress,
He’s good and true and kind;
‘Tis hard amongst the walks of man
A purer soul to find.”
‘Twas thus they praised him while he lived,
And filled his heart with pride,
And when at last his end did come,
And like the rest he died,
The priest, above his gilded bier,
Exalted to the skies
The soul of this proud child of wealth
As good, and great, and wise.
And said that straight to heaven’s gate
The rich man’s soul was sent;
While all the people bowed, and said
“To paradise he went.”
A poor man with his load of grief
Went staggering down the path,
And begged of God to grant relief
And heap not on him wrath.
With weight of many grievous fears
He tottered o’er the road,
And called on Allah thro’ his tears
To add not to his load.
He fell upon the wayside sore,
And yielded unto sin,
And he the law, with iron hand,
To prison quick dragg’d in.
The cold, stern judge said, with a frown,
“A crime thou didst commit,
And thou in bond must now be kept
Till thou hast answered it.”
Into a dungeon, dark and lone,
The poor man straight they sent,
And chained him to the prison wall,
And bade him there repent.
And there for years he pined away,
No loved one by his side,
Until a fairer fortune came,
And then the poor man died.
No prayers above his dumb, cold clay,
The silk-clad Bishop said;
But quick they bore his form away,
As soon as he was dead.
No tears were shed above his grave,
No mound above it rais’d;
Neglected and despised he lived—
He died despised, unprais’d.
But had he lived ‘neath brighter stars,
perhaps the narrow way
His feet on earth had gladly trod,
That went so far astray.
And had the rich man felt the weight
Of care the other bore,
He might have fallen by the way,
As men have done before.