The Way To Heaven

By John Hay

One day the Sultan, grand and grim,
Ordered the Mufti brought to him.
“Now let thy wisdom solve for me
The question I shall put to thee.

“The different tribes beneath my sway
Four several sects of priests obey;
Now tell me which of all the four
Is on the path to Heaven’s door.”

The Sultan spake, and then was dumb.
The Mufti looked about the room,
And straight made answer to his lord.
Fearing the bowstring at each word:

“Thou, godlike in thy lofty birth,
Who art our Allah upon earth,
Illume me with thy favoring ray,
And I will answer as I may.

“Here, where thou thronest in thy hall,
I see there are four doors in all;
And through all four thy slaves may gaze
Upon the brightness of thy face.

“That I came hither safely through
Was to thy gracious message due,
And, blinded by thy splendor’s flame,
I cannot tell the way I came.”

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