Jesus paid my fare/A Little Pilgrim

This item is a bit of a mystery. It’s handwritten, and I suspect it may have been copied from a newspaper or magazine; although I don’t recognise the handwriting I think it’s a safe bet that it may have been Emily’s. Emily comes through from all the documents I have as being a very devout – not to mention stern – Christian, who had a tendency to impose her views on other people. (No doubt believing she was doing so for their own good.) I could well imagine this being the sort of sentimental thing that would appeal to Emily, particularly towards the end of her life. Frankly I find it rather mawkish myself, and the quality of the verse is pretty average. I haven’t been able to track down an author’s name, but a publisher called Bible Truth is still charging money for italthough I suspect it is Victorian in origin and any copyright that may once have existed on it has long since been extinguished.


One summer evening, ere the sun went down

When city men were hastening from the town

To reach their home, some near at hand, some far

By snorting train, by omnibus or car

To be beyond the reach of city’s din

A tramcar stopped, a little child got in.

A cheery looking girl, scarce four years old;

Although not shy her manners were not bold

But all alone one scarce could understand

She held a little bundle in her hand

A tiny handkerchief with corners tied

But this did not some bread and butter hide

A satin scarf, so natty and so neat

Was o’er her shoulders thrown, she took her seat

And laid her bundle underneath her arm

And smiling prettily, but yet so calm,

“Please sir,” she gently said, “may I sit here?”

The guard at once replied, “Oh yes, my dear.”

And thus she seemed inclined to make her stay

While once again the tram went on its way.

The tall conductor over six feet high

Now scanned the traveller with a business eye

But in that eye was something kind and mild

That took the notice of the little child.

A little after and the man went round

And soon was heard the old familiar sound

Of gathering pence and clipping ticker too

The tram was full and he had much to do.

“Your fare, my little girl,” at length he said.

She looked a moment, shook her little head.

“I have no pennies, don’t you know,” said she;

“My fare is paid; ’twas Jesus paid for me.”

He looked bewildered, all the people smiled;

“I didn’t know; and who is Jesus, child?”

“Why don’t you know, he once for sinners died,

For little children and for men beside

To make us good and wash us from our sin

Isn’t this his railway I am travelling in?”

“Don’t think it is, I want your fare you know.”

“I told you, Jesus paid it long ago.

My mother told me just before she died

That Jesus paid when he was crucified

That at the cross his railway did begin

Which took poor sinners from a world of sin.

Why, mother said his home was grand and fair

I want to go and see my mother there.

I want to go to Heaven where Jesus lives

Won’t you go too? My mother said He gives

A loving welcome. Shall we not be late?

Oh let us go before he shuts the gate.”

He knew not why-he fumbled at his coat,

He felt a something rising in his throat

Whilst all the people listened to the child

Some were in tears, the roughest of them smiled.

“I am a pilgrim,” said the little thing;

“I’m going to Heaven; my mother used to sing

To me of Jesus and his father’s love;

Told me to meet her in his home above.

And so today when Aunt went out to tea

And through the door the sunshine I did see

I got my bundle, gave my doll a kiss

And put its Sunday frock on pretty miss

And got my hat and then I left my home

A little pilgrim up to heaven to roam.

And then your railway stopped and I could see

You looked so kind, I saw you beckon me

I thought that this was our dear Saviour’s train

To take me up to mother long the empty lane.”

The poor conductor only shook his head

Tears in his eyes, the power of speech had fled.

Had conscience by her prattle roused his fears,

And struck upon the fountain of his tears;

And made his thoughts in sad confusion whirl?

I loved her much; she was my little pet,

And with great fondness I remember yet

I loved her much; she was my little pet,

And with great fondness I remember yet

How much she loved me, but one day she died.”

“She’s gone to heaven,” the little child replied.

“She’s gone to Jesus-Jesus paid her fare.

O dear conductor, won’t you meet her there?”

The poor conductor now broke fully down

He could have borne the harshest look a frown

But no-one laughed, while many sitting by

Beheld the scene with sympathetic eye.

He kissed the child, for she his heart had won

“I am so sleepy,” said the little one.

“If you will let me, I’ll lie here and wait

Until your railway comes to Jesus’ gate.

Be sure to wake me up and pull my frock

And at the gate just give one little knock

And you’ll see Jesus  The strong man wept.

I could but think as from the car I stept,

How oft a little one has found the road,

The narrow pathway to that blest abode:

Through faith in Christ has read its title clear,

While learned men remain in doubt and fear.

A little child! the Lord oft uses such

The stoutest heart to break, or bend, or touch;

Then by His Spirit bids the conflict cease,

And once forever enter into peace.

And then along the road the news we bear, –

On our way to heaven-that Jesus paid our fare!

A Little Pilgrim


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