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None to Lead but Reason

You’ve had your way a long, long time,
You kings and tyrants,
And still you work injustice hour by hour.
What ails you that do not tread a path of glory?
A man may take the field, although he love the bower.
But some hope a divine leader with prophetic voice
Will rise amid the gazing silent ranks.
An idle thought!  There’s none to lead but reason,
To point the morning and the evening ways.


Abu al-‘Ala’ al-Ma’arri (973-1057), born in Ma’arra in what is today Syria, was a poet and philosopher.  Cf. “It is clear that Qatar (as is clear from this Qatari government daily) is promoting the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood as the alternative to the regime” (As’ad AbuKhalil, “Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar,” The Angry Arab News Service, 29 April 2011).


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