Mara kissed me on the forehead, and said, gayly,
' I told you, brother, all would be well!—When next you would comfort, say, " What will be well, is even now well." '
She gave a little sigh, and I thought it meant, ' But they will not believe you !'
' —You know me now!' she ended, with a smile like her mother's.
' I know you !' I answered: you are the voice that cried in the wilderness before ever the Baptist came! you are the shepherd whose wolves hunt the wandering sheep home ere the shadow rise and the night grow dark! '
' My work will one day be over,' she said, ' and then I shall be glad with the gladness of the great shepherd who sent me.'
'All the night long the morning is at hand,' said Adam.
' What is that flapping of wings I hear ? ' I asked.
' The Shadow is hovering,' replied Adam : ' there is one here whom he counts his own ! But ours once, never more can she be his !'
I turned to look on the faces of my father and mother, and kiss them ere we went: their couches were empty save of the Little Ones who had with love's boldness appropriated their hospitality! For an instant that awful dream of desolation overshadowed me, and I turned aside.
' What is it, my heart ? ' said Lona.
' Their empty places frightened me,' I answered.
' They are up and away long ago,' said Adam. ' They kissed you ere they went, and whispered, " Come soon.