The Story Of Lazarus

THERE stood upon a mountain slope,

A cottage, years ago;

Half hid in olive trees above,

And fragrant vines below;

Within whose neat, ungarnished walls

A little household dwelt,

In loving peace, remote from strife

The noisy city felt.

Two sisters and a brother dear

Made up the household band,

Whose Christian and domestic love

Went sweetly hand in hand.

And oft a way-worn traveler

Passed through their open door,

To drop a word of holy cheer,

Or share their simple store.

At length, upon their pleasant home,

A heavy shadow fell.

The brother sickened; then he died

The brother, loved so well.

They laid him in a rustic grave; 

The summer winds breathed low;

And all around, the mountain flowers

Were bright with bud and blow.

Four suns their shining path had run,

When down the shady street

There came the lightly-echoed tread

Of Jesus' sandaled feet.

To meet the blessed traveler

The stricken sisters cried,

And murmured, "Lord, hadst thou been here,

Our brother had not died."

With troubled air, he straightway asked,

"Where have ye laid the dead?"

And while the Jews stood wondering,

"Lord, come and see," they said.

The sorrow of the tearful group

Beholding, "Jesus wept;"

Then, following on, with slower pace,

Drew near where Lazarus slept;

And bending tenderly above

The quiet, new-made grave,

He bade them take away the stone

That lay upon the cave.

They gainsayed gently, but obeyed,

When, to their glad surprise,

The Saviour moved his lips in prayer.

And lifted up his eyes;

And crying. "Lazarus, come forth,"

In accents clear and loud,

He that was dead, alive appeared,

Wrapped in his burial shroud.

And many Jews believed on Christ;

And Lazarus went his way;

And sunshine filled that happy home,

Where late the shadow lay.