Death seemed my servant on the road, till we were near and saw you waiting: When you smiled, and in sorrowful envy he outran me and took you apart: Into his quietness. All men dream: but nor equally, Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses oftheir minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. So high an aim called out the inherent nobility of their minds, and made them play a generous part in events: but when we won, it was charged against me that the British petrol royalties in Mesopotamia were become dubious, and French Colonial policy ruined in the Levant. We pay for these things too much in honour and in innocent lives. I loved you, so I drew these tides of men into my hands and wrote my will across the sky in stars To earn you Freedom, the seven-pillared worthy house, that your eyes might be shining for me When we came. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace. a lost influence, to give twenty millions of Semites the foundations on which to build an inspired dream-palace of their national thoughts. It was an Arab war waged and led by Arabs for an Arab aim in Arabia. It is intended to rationalize the campaign, that everyone may see how natural the success was and how inevitable, how little dependent on direction or brain, how much less on the outside assistance of the few British. It is a narrative of daily life, mean happenings, little people. In these pages the history is not of the Arab movement, but of me in it.
Mr Geoffrey Dawson persuaded All Souls College to give me leisure, in 1919-1920, to write about the Arab Revolt. Please take it as a personal narrative piece out of memory. The only need was to defeat our enemies (Turkey among them), and this was at last done in the wisdom of Allenby with less than four hundred killed, by turning to our uses the hands of the oppressed in Turkey.
From left to right: An unknown tribesman, Mohamed el Dheilan, Auda abu Tayi, an unknown with a moustache, Auda's young son Mohamed, aged eleven, two unknown tribesmen 08. In reality I never had any office among the Arabs: was never in charge of the British mission with them.
My proper share was a minor one, but because of a fluent pen, a free speech, and a certain adroitess of brain, I took upon myself, as I describe it, a mock primacy.
The record of events was not dulled in me and perhaps few actual mistakes crept in--except in details of dates or numbers--but the outlines and significance of things had lost edge in the haze of new interests.
So it was built again with heavy repugnance in London in the winter of 1919-20 from memory and my surviving notes.