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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

In a small cemetery plot on a gentle hill in Natchez, Mississippi an elderly crape myrtle weeps Spanish moss.  In the plot stand two broken obelisks, representing two lives cut short. Brothers.

Their broken pillars are joined by their mother’s, which is complete – a life lived full.The plot was once surrounded by an ornate wrought-iron fence, now almost completely gone, leaving only the gate, which seems to warn those who enter that there is much sadness here. 

"Pause before you enter," it seems to say.

Joseph Neibert was 11 years, five months, nine days old when he died a year before his brother, Thomas was born.
On Thomas’s obelisk is the following inscription:

Thomas Bird Neibert
Born August 11, 1836NatchezMississippi
Died June 22, 1858CarrolltonLouisiana

The following lines written by himself and published in the New Orleans Delta almost two years before his death would seem to have been influenced by a foreshadowing or premonition of his early entrance into that new life which he now so fully enjoys:

A New Life
Ever, ever more regarding
Suns that long have had their setting,
Dreading future steeps to climb
I have lingered faint and weary,
Looking backward to the time
When my being, fresh and cheery,
Hastened onward to its prime.
Now, with brighter visions burning
From the past my spirit turning
In the future seeks its home.
Angel wings are folded o’er me
And I listen, rapt and dumb,
To the loved ones gone before me
While they whisper, “Brother, come.”

One unseen is ever near me,
Buried brother risen in light
With his thrilling angel fingers
Clasped in mine, my way is bright.
And my spirit no more lingers,
Murmuring o’er its springtime flight.

IT is believed that Mr. Neibert either built or at one time owned the antebellum home Choctaw in Natchez.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Soul Survivors 2012