Address to the veiled ladies of Islam
O thou, whose mantle is the covering
That guards our honour, whose effulgence
Our candle’s capital, whose nature pure
To us a mercy, our religion’s strength,
Foundation of our true community!
Our children’s lips, being suckled at thy breast,
From thee first learn to lisp No god but God.
Thy love it is, that shapes our little ways,
Thy love that moulds our thoughts, our words, our deeds.
Our lightning‐flash, that slumbered in thy cloud,
Glitters upon the mountain, sweeps the plain.
O guardian of the blessings of God’s Law,
Thou from whose breath the Faith of God draws fire,
Coxcomb and crafty is the present age,
Its caravan a highwayman, well armed
To seize and spoil Faith’s riches; blind its brain,
That knoweth naught of God; ignoble they
Who are the captives of its twisted chains;
Bold is its eye, and reckless; swift to snatch
The talons of its lashes; its poor prey
Calls itself free, its victim vaunts it lives!
Thine is the hand that keepeth fresh and green
The young tree of our Commonwealth, as thou
Guardest inviolate the capital
Of our Community. Fret not thyself
To calculate the profit and the loss,
Being content to tread the well‐worn path
Our fathers went before. Be wary of
Time’s depredations, and to thy broad breast
Gather thy children close; these meadowchicks,
Unfledged as yet co fly, have fallen far
From their warm nest. High, high the cravings are
That wrestle with thy soul; be conscious still
And ever of thy model, Fatima,
So that thy branch may bear a new Husain,
Our garden blossom with the Golden Age.