Nabi Yunus Shrine

Nicholas Michell

With musing step we wend from mound to mound;
Each spot, with mysteries fraught, seems sacred ground.
Here stood that prophet sent by Heaven to call
Doom on each head, and preach the city's fall;
And there he sat, far east from Tigris' stream,
Struck by hot blasts, and fainting in the beam:
On yon peaked hill they show his mouldered grave,
O'er which their funeral boughs no yew-trees wave,
Or flowers in dew — sweet tears of Nature — weep,
Or winds at eve with breath of fragrance sweep.
But Moslem zeal hath reared a temple there;
Strange o'er that desert sounds the call to prayer!
Where sleeps God's prophet, Mecca's triumphs now,
And whispering "Allah!" Ishmael's children bow.*

Author's note: On the mound Nebbe Yunus the prophet Jonah is said to be buried; and close by, or over his grave, rises a mosque, where the inhabitants of the village which has been built at the foot of the mound repair to worship.


In 2014, the Muslim extremist group ISIS captured the city of Mosul and amongst many other savage and barbaric acts, demolished the shrine, which was a place of worship for Shi'ite Muslims.

Ezra Pound's verse at Amazon:

Main Location:

Al-Nabi Yunus Mosque, تقاطع النبي يونس، Mosul, Iraq

The ruins of the Nabi Yunus Shrine in Mosul, Iraq, after ISIS extremists blew it up in 2014