Nellie Girl: Nilla Pedersen Christensen, Pioneer Woman

    “Nellie Girl: Nilla Pedersen Christensen, Pioneer Woman,” Ensign, Jan. 1977, 52

    Nellie Girl: Nilla Pedersen Christensen, Pioneer Woman


    Nellie girl,

    Mark well the music of the blue fjords

    Strumming their glaciered mountains;

    And store for future desert thirst

    The snow-touched streamlets.

    Remember, as well as your nineteen summers can,

    And write it all in the Book of Forever.

    Slip into your mind’s valise


    You go alone,

    And for you, Lot’s child,

    There will be no mirrored glance.

    No, never.

    Ocean Journey

    Night, Nellie girl,

    Time for star wondering

    And moon dreaming.

    White sea tongues

    Lap the Tapscott’s planked seams,

    And dream doors open,

    Beckoning fantasy’s return:

    You can escape the ponderous now.


    And restless wave.

    Your young body and spirit,

    Alike in strength,

    Spend themselves freely

    In love-rewarded labor.


    Nellie girl, look—

    The handcarts are prepared.

    Outstretched wooden arms

    Strain for your firm clasp.

    Frail willow, along the way

    You bend—but there is Andrew,

    Who at journey’s end

    Will husband your eternity.

    Days merge and melt

    Vast upon the glowing plain,

    Their ovened glaze,


    Proclaiming Stoddard’s Company

    Tenth and last.

    Mount Pleasant

    Zion, Nellie girl,

    Your soul’s thirst quenched;

    Sheltered deep at first

    In a dugout nest of sod

    You bear Nicoline, Andrew, David,

    Christian, Nephi, Bertha, Hilda—

    Spirits from whose seed

    Will come an apostle of God.

    Now thirty-five, heart spent,

    Your loved ones grieve;

    For He dispatched twin angels

    Who come to take your hands

    And lead you gently home

    To rest.