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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

An Goose-Se'de Heby - may your tribe increase

I have no idea how to spell what my father says periodically.  He announces: An Goose Sa De Heebee! May your Tribe increase!  once in a while - the same way he calls out "My god, she cried with accent wild!" or suddenly starts spouting another poem memorized in his youth.  My dad's a bit of a genius in my books.  I caught myself wanting to write his exclaim/blessing at the end of an email today with no knowledge of how to spell it - and uncovered the source of the quote:
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
"What writest thou?" —The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men."
      The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

Leigh Hunt
The Book of Gems: the Poets and Artists of Great Britain.

 Ed. Samuel Carter Hall. Saunders and Otley, 1836-38

The universe (and my father) have blessed me with a little guidance tonight.  I have been considering a new recreational path to pursue - and now I know it is the right one. More on that another time.

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