The Child and the Mourners

A little child, beneath a tree
Sat and chanted cheerily
A little song, a pleasant song,
Which was — she sang it all day long —
" When the wind blows the blossoms fall;
But a good God reigns over all."

There passed a lady by the way,
Moaning in the face of day:
There were tears upon her cheek,
Grief in her heart too great to speak;
Her husband died but yester-morn,
And left her in the world forlorn.

She stopped and listened to the child
That looked to heaven, and singing, smiled;
And saw not for her own despair,
Another lady, young and fair,
Who also passing, stopped to hear
The infant's anthem ringing clear.

For she but few sad days before
Had lost the little babe she bore;
And grief was heavy at her soul
As that sweet memory o'er her stole,
And showed how bright had been the Past,
The Present drear and overcast.

And as they stood beneath the tree
Listening, soothed and placidly,
A youth came by, whose sunken eyes
Spake of a load of miseries;
And he, arrested like the twain,
Stopped to listen to the strain.

Death had bowed the youthful head
Of his bride beloved, his bride unwed:
Her marriage robes were fitted on,
Her fair young face with blushes shone,
When the destroyer smote her low,
And changed the lover's bliss to woe.

And these three listened to the song,
Silver-toned, and sweet, and strong,
Which that child, the livelong day,
Chanted to itself in play:
" When the wind blows the blossoms fall,
But a good God reigns over all."

The widow's lips impulsive moved;
The mother's grief, tho' unreproved,
Softened, as her trembling tongue
Repeated what the infant sung;
And the sad lover, with a start,
Conned it over to his heart.

And though the child — if child it were,
And not a seraph sitting there —
Was seen no more, the sorrowing three
Went on their way resignedly,
The song still ringing in their ears —
Was it music of the spheres?

Who shall tell? They did not know.
But in the midst of deepest woe
The strain recurred when sorrow grew,
To warn them, and console them too:
" When the wind blows the blossoms fall,
But a good God reigns over all."
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