My step-father Tom Austin related a lovely memory about this poem. He was raised in a small Alabama mining town in the 1920's. His father died young, when Tom was a mere boy. One of his vivid memories of his father is miners gathered around the wood stove in a country store and listening to his father recite Abou Ben Adhem from memory. Tom could remember only the first two lines, but he never forgot the image of that scene, one of his few memories of his father. I can imagine small towns throughout America, perhaps the Scotch-Irish South in particuar, and even the Brisith Ises with similar scenes of poems being enjoyed through the oral tradition.
I find the poem, 'The Glove and the Lions', very amusing because human nature never really changes through the centuries. Here we have the arrogant, beautiful woman who is all wrapped up in herself and, refreshingly, we have the sensible hero who discerns that his girlfriend has serious flaws. We can all relate to this! Remember the song from about ten years ago, 'She ain't pretty, she just looks that way! '
Spent 15 minutes trying to get to the text of Abou Ben Adam on your site. You should hire a better computer nerd of maybe the CIA to make life easier to download a poem.
Paul Metz, MD
P.S. I did not succeed..
Jenny kiss'd me when we met, Jumping from the chair she sat in; Time, you thief, who love to get Sweets into your list, put that in! Say I'm weary, say I'm sad, Say that health and welth have miss'd me, Say I'm growing old, but add, Jenny kiss'd me.