On a crowded woodland train up north,
”Twas bound for Moosonee.
The coach was swaying back and forth,
And you gave your seat to me.
With upturned face and smiling glance
You rose so gracefully,
And I was happy for the chance
To rest my aching knee.
You stood apart from all the rest
And I felt myself a fool,
Embarrassed, though I did my best,
To hide my thoughts from you.
The man beside me muttered,
Then got up to meet his train.
My heart within me fluttered,
As you sat down once again
With far to go, through evening snow,
We spoke, ’til it was dawn.
Our banter going to and fro,
Our hesitation gone.
A deed I’d done, a wrong to mend,
And so I had gone forth,
Without expecting you, my friend,
A native of the north.
You told me things about your life;
How hardships made you grow.
And I saw that I had seen no strife,
Compared to what you know.
You were so very cheerful,
And made my spirits high.
And now I was so fearful
That our journey’s end was nigh.
You were so young, and I was old,
But felt that I must give
A gift to you, a cross of gold,
As you had long to live.
Now, at the end, we said goodbye.
You hugged me, through the tears.
And so, this Christmas Eve will I
Remember through the years.