Home : Quarterly Archives : Volume 13
Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
Source: April 1965 Volume 13 Number 3, Pages 54–55
Christian Workiser's steed
In the radiant light of the autumn morn,
Through Chester vale to the city of Perm,
Close to the edge of a straggling wood
And Bessie, a maiden of scarce ten years,
To Pickering's mill her father had gone
To the British commander a message with speed
In the door stands the colonel, alone, undismayed,
"Who's this?" cries the captain, with swift, sharp rebound.
A messenger came o'er the mountain brow
Expressing regret, and with courtesy fine
But more precious than gems in his master's sight,
Master and charger have mouldered away
The winds breathe their requiem, soft and low,
Their names on our country's bright record of fame,
The above poem was found among the papers of Franklin L. Burns, our local historian and ornithologist, accompanying the typescript of his study on the Workiser family, This article was published in The Picket Post of the Valley Forge Historical Society for January, 1945, pp. 23, 24, 38, 39, 41, under the title "Workisers of Valley Forge Area Left their Imprint on the Section." But the poem was not printed therein, and the Tredyffrin-Easttown History Club editors are not aware that it has ever before been published.
The poem recounts an event or tradition in the life of Christian Workiser, the author's great-grandfather, He had been an aide to General Wolfe in the battle of Montreal. While in general sympathy with his neighbors, he felt he could not take up arms against his old British, companions. But as a former British officer he dared to protest when his house was looted, and delighted when the officer sent to discipline him further recognized him as an old companion in arms.
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