ALL IS WELL !
THEY stood, mute lipped, with
sullen eyes When spring was fresh and green, A tiny coffin at their feet,
A new-made grave between.
The earth was rich with bursting
buds, The wind with grand perfumes,
God's music, in a thousand tones,
Swept softly round the tombs.
The preacher, with a voice
attuned To meet the music's swell,
Stood heralding an angel's birth,
The promise, " All is well!"
The neighbors, with uncovered
In saddened groups stood by,
With many a listening, trembling
And many a dimming eye.
For every one of all the groups
Who gathered sadly there
Knew why, on either side the
grave, Stood James and Ellen Ware.
They knew how words of bitter
strife Had words of love defied,
And how a wandering man returned,
The day his child had died.
Returned too late to kiss the
He loved so well with life;
Returned with anger in his heart
Against an angry wife.
For she, when first the babe had
drooped, With sullen scorn denied
Her wish to have the father by
The little sufferer's side.
She steeled her heart with every
His angry tongue had said, And
called him only to his home
To find his darling dead.
And so they stood beside the
grave, The husband and the wife,
Still warming in their heart of
hearts The olden words of strife.
The only two of all the crowd
Unmoved to love and tears,
With them the promise, " All is
well!" Fell on unlistening ears.
The prayer had ceased, the sexton
stooped To lift the tiny load,
To lay the baby child away
Within its last abode.
From either side the open grave
Stepped James and Ellen Ware, And
knelt beside the baby child
That lay so silent there.
Their heads were bowed, their
hands were clasped Upon the coffin lid;
The tears that struggled from
their hearts Could be no longer hid.
The preacher cast his eyes aloft,
And stretched his hands in
prayer, No word he spoke, we knew he prayed
For James and Ellen Ware.
Their hands crept blindly o'er
the lid, And met in warm embrace,
Their heads were lifted from
their breasts, To gaze in either face.
In sad, heart-broken tones they
called Their baby's name aloud,
And sobbing in each other's arms,
They kissed its wooden shroud.
And as the sexton stooped to lift
Once more the little shell,
They whispered to each other's
heart The promise, " All is well!"