“All Is Well”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1931 (Flanders/Brown, from a manuscript reportedly dated 1841)
Keywords: death religious nonballad
Found in: US(NE)

Description

"Oh, what is this that steals upon my frame? Is it death? is it death?... If this is death, I soon shall be From every pain and sorrow free... All is well, all is well." The singer bids his friends not to weep, and looks forward to salvation

Supplemental text

All Is Well
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

From Helen Hartness Flanders & George Brown, Vermont Folk-Songs
& Ballads, pp. 75-77. Supplied by Celeste Hazen, from a copy made
by or for Amanda Culver, apparently in 1841.

Oh, what is this that steals upon my frame?
Is it death? is it death?
That soon will quench, will quench this vital pain?
Is it death? is it death?
If this is death, I soon shall be
From every pain and sorrow free;
I shall the King of Glory see.
All is well, all is well.

(4 additional stanzas)

Notes

Arthur Hugh Clough (1816-1861) wrote a piece, "Whate'er You Dream With Doubt Possesst," subtitled "All Is Well," which sounds like it might be this, and the date makes it barely possible -- but I haven't seen the Clough poem, so I can't say. The whole piece sounds very familiar -- and it's not because it has so many Biblical references; the references in this poem are very free.

There is a Mormon hymn with the same "All is well, all is well" refrain and, of course, mentions of Saints and the like. It doesn't look like the same piece, but I wouldn't be surprised if that were adapted from this. - RBW.

References

  1. Flanders/Brown, pp. 78-79, "All Is Well" (1 text)
  2. ST FlBr078 (Partial)
  3. Roud #5455
  4. BI, FlBr078