A True Story

All alone in the evening grey

Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Published in 1 hymnal

Full Text

All alone in the evening grey,
Sick and dying, poor Hannah lay;
Through the broken pane the cold wind swept,
Poor Hannah shivered, and moaned, and wept.
But it was not cold, and it was not pain,
That made her shiver and moan again:
She did not say, “My pain is sore,”
But “Where shall I be when all is o’er?”
For Hannah remembered the years gone by,
And she said, “A sinner—a sinner am I!
All black and fearful the sins appear,
That I had forgotten for many a year;
And thousands, thousands, they come to mind—
There is hell before and sin behind.
The Lord is holy, and just, and true,
And what He has said He will surely do.
He hath for sin an awful doom,
A lake of fire beyond the tomb;
And my soul is black with the sins of years,
They cannot be washed away with tears.
And sure it is vain to pray and cry;
He cannot hear such a sinner as I.
I am going—going—to stand alone,
Before the Lord on His awful throne!”

* * * * *

Bright and glad as the stars came out,
With many a laugh and many a shout,
Jack and Will in the garden played,
And they heeded not the noise they made.
But the neighbour calling said, “Children, dear,
A woman is sick in that house so near;
There, where the broken pane you see,
She is lying as ill as she can be.
She soon must die, and you see ’tis best
You should be still, and let her rest.”
Then in a moment they were still,
For tender hearts had both Jack and Will,
And they sat and looked at the casement lone,
Till the stars shone bright, and the day was gone.
Then Jack said, “Will, she will go to Heaven,
If she has had her sins forgiven.
I learned at school that when Jesus died
The door of Heaven was opened wide,
Because He was punished Himself for sin.
So now if we die, we can all go in;
Of our sins there will not a word be said,
For Jesus Christ was punished instead;
And if she believes He loves her so,
Beyond the stars her soul will go.
He will lead her in through the golden door,
And she will be happy for evermore.”
Then Will said, “Jack, that is all quite true—
But does she know it as well as you?
What Jesus did we have both been taught,
But some know this, and some do not.
O Jack, maybe she has never known
What it is that the Lord has done!”
Then Jack said, “If you would help me, Will,
I would climb up to the window sill,
And through the hole I would call and say,
‘Jesus washes our sins away.’”

* * * * *

The neighbour said when her work was done,
“It may be Hannah is all alone,
And oh! it’s an awful thing to lie
Too ill to live, and afraid to die.
So just to sit with her I will go,
But how to help her I do not know.”
So the neighbour went, and she heard no moan,
And she thought, “Poor Hannah is dead and gone;”
She lighted the candle with fear and dread,
And stooped to see if Hannah was dead.
But there she lay with her face so bright!
It shone with glory and not with light.
And she said, “O neighbour, the Lord is good!
He has washed me white in His precious Blood,
My sins are gone from before His Face,
And He has prepared a glorious place,
Where those He loves with Himself shall be,
And to that sweet Home He is calling me.
O neighbour, here in the dark I lay,
I felt so guilty I could not pray,
And all my sins like a mountain stood
Before the terrible Face of God.
Then all in a moment, sweet and clear,
A voice spake loud, though none was near,
Like an Angel speaking I heard it say,
‘Jesus washes our sins away!’
And whilst I thought, Do my ears tell true?
It said, ‘Poor woman, He died for you.’
And then did the words come sweet and low
That I had forgotten long ago;
I once heard tell in the years gone by,
How Jesus came on the cross to die,
And there He hung in the darkness dread,
With a crown of thorns on His holy Head.
And some old, old words came back to me,
‘He bore our sins on the cursed tree.’
Yes, it was true that mine He bore,
So the guilt is gone, and the judgment o’er;
And more than that, if He died for me,
What must the love of Jesus be!
He in His Home of glory waits
To see me enter the golden gates;
Whilst I lay moaning in black despair;
His heart was longing to have me there.
And oh for the welcome I soon shall know!
No words can tell how I long to go!”

* * * * *

And so, ere many a day was done,
There was joy in the Home beyond the sun,
For Hannah had entered the golden door
To dwell with her Saviour for evermore.
God saith that all who to Jesus come
He in His love will welcome home.
The Lord is holy, and just, and true,
And what He hath said, He will surely do.

Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series), 1899

Translator: Frances Bevan

Bevan, Emma Frances, née Shuttleworth, daughter of the Rev. Philip Nicholas Shuttleworth, Warden of New Coll., Oxford, afterwards Bishop of Chichester, was born at Oxford, Sept. 25, 1827, and was married to Mr. R. C. L. Bevan, of the Lombard Street banking firm, in 1856. Mrs. Bevan published in 1858 a series of translations from the German as Songs of Eternal Life (Lond., Hamilton, Adams, & Co.), in a volume which, from its unusual size and comparative costliness, has received less attention than it deserves, for the trs. are decidedly above the average in merit. A number have come into common use, but almost always without her name, the best known being those noted under “O Gott, O Geist, O Licht dea Lebens," and "Jedes Herz will etwas… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: All alone in the evening grey
Title: A True Story
Translator: Frances Bevan (1899)
Language: English