Hessian Slaughter and Trivial Holiday Woes

Hessian Slaughter and Trivial Holiday Woes

December 28, 2014 news poetry Uncategorized 0

There has been one chapter of history that I simply cant get out of my head as this season winds down. Listening to people languish about family, returns, and life in America in general I can’t help but draw a comparison.

I think of George Washington and the Continental Army crossing the icy waters of the Delaware to surprise and slay the Hessians in what was no doubt a battle ruled by hand to hand combat. A vicious battle just one day after Christmas.

Its the 28th and I have to imagine while we are busy talking about our in laws there still men cleaning German blood off their blades knowing there were much worse battles to come. I can’t get this off my mind so I thought I would bring it to you folks this morning. Below is the sonnet written by David Shulman  in 1936 by David Shulman


A hard, howling, tossing water scene.
Strong tide was washing hero clean.
“How cold!” Weather stings as in anger.
O Silent night shows war ace danger!

The cold waters swashing on in rage.
Redcoats warn slow his hint engage.
When star general’s action wish’d “Go!”
He saw his ragged continentals row.

Ah, he stands – sailor crew went going.
And so this general watches rowing.
He hastens – winter again grows cold.
A wet crew gain Hessian stronghold.

George can’t lose war with’s hands in;
He’s astern – so go alight, crew, and win


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