At Shepherd’s Ranch, May 5th, 1884.
Nellie W., youngest daughter of John and Margaret Shepherd; aged 3 years, 5 months and 12 days.
(To Little Nell, late daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Shepherd)
A change has come, ah, sad indeed,
‘Tis hard, Oh God, to understand
The depth of what Thou hast decreed,
The mighty working of Thy hand.
Poor little Nell has flown away.
‘Tis strange, though sad and true.
The same impressions came to-day,
That Dickens truly did review.
Her face enraptured with a smile,
Will ne’er on earth, with childish bliss,
Be upward turned as to beguile
All trials with a parent’s kiss.
A father’s arm was powerless,
A mother’s love-it could not save,
With all the weight of keen distress
Dear Nellie from an early grave.
A sister’s or a brother’s love,
Entwined by Nature’s mystic hand,
Could not retrain the fleeing dove.
That sought and found the Promised Land.
Gone from this mysterious sphere,
Ah, well perhaps ‘tis better so,
For God knows best. Poor little dear,
Is safer there than here below.
The holy angels in heaven above,
Will touch the golden harps for thee,
With voices sweet in tones of love,-
Oh, happy will the meeting be.
God bless thee, child, thy spirit sang
Hath gone to Him who gave it thee;
All free and like a dew drop pure,
To Him who said, “Come unto Me.”
Farewell sweet child, we leave thee now
To better care than earth e’er
A;; Seraphim will welcome thee,
And prove a triumph o’er the grave.
***From the scrapbook of Eva See Shepherd, 1881.
Unknown newspaper article, unknown date.
Available from the Eastern California Museum, Independence, CA