Ol’ Ben and I were camped below the ridgeline
The horses hobbled so they could graze at night
One wore an old brass bell that tinkled soft and low
So we could find ‘em in the morning if they drifted out of sight

That night I tossed and turned as I usually do
Half-awake my mind finds troubles on which to dwell
Old problems, unfinished business—they all worry me awake
But on this night a bell was tinkling just to tell me all was well

That sound reached out to me across the meadow
My mind turned to the horses in the night
I knew that they were close and drifted off to sleep
In the comfort only found when everything’s all right

Lately I been thinking about what it means
If there are ways of knowing without the bell
Little clues we can listen or watch for
That might tell our troubled minds —“all is well”

I think the clues are subtle but all around us
If we miss them, we are doomed to a restless night
A baby’s smile, a pretty sunrise, holding hands
Clear as bells and softly ringing “all is right”

And I hope these words have you a-thinking some
About all the clues perhaps you have missed as well
So when worries dog your heels or invade your sleep
There will come to you—the tiny tinkling of a bell

The bell is used by Ben Nelson on pack trips. It was originally a gag gift that he used and it works. It has a nice sound too.