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Amish, poem, C. Z. Mast, Kishacoquillas Valley, Gan-sho-e-hanne, rivers, Schuylkill River, Berks County, Edwin Earl Espenshade, Native Americans, Hochstetler Massacre
A handwritten copy of a poem entitled, "Gan-sho-han-ne", by C. Z. Mast, date unknown. The poem is dedicated to the Amish of Kishacoquillas Valley and the surrounding area and was perhaps transcribed by Edwin Earl Espenshade circa 1950.
C. Z. Mast
Thou mother we love thy streams. Jesus leads us in the glittering sunbeams for we are here to walk the way the Christ life leads and entreat the Indian with all good deeds.
We lift our eyes to pastures new, oh beautiful Gan-sho-han-ne
Our songs break like thy bubbling fountains where life is so free on the slopes of thy mountains oh beautiful! Oh beautiful Gan-sho-han-ne
In the glorious sunrise we watch thy waters run on and trust in thy mercies from dawn unto dawn. Your accents so sweet, forests and mountains ring to make thy glories cause us to smile and sing
Our little sons play on the banks of the Onte-le-han-ne and view the rapturous scenes of Man-ah-te-han-ne. Oh come hear God's world in the vale of Tulp-we-han-ne and herald the message o'er Al-le-ga-han-ne
Oh mother of waters sustained by the daughters so bright together ye flow. Yea! Unity brings a saint delight and thither while racing and ever embracing could we wish the hours more slow oh Gan-sho-han-ne
We love to worship the God of our fathers in undisturbed repose and walk in his path walk e'en among forest foes. He will mark the mourning tears from our agonizing fears on the bloody Indian trails of Gan-sho-han-ne.
Before the forest savage with his wild terrific yell the Hochstetlers with the scalping knife were stricken and fell. Ten mournful bloody years with tears - on bended knee we in faith shall soar above the fading scenes of Gan-sho-han-ne
By Conestoga, Tuscarora, and Kishacoquillas shady rill our bleeding hearts can ne'er describe with tongue or quill to see his deep streams of mercy check the forest foe and lead us to celestial towers from mankind so low.
Schmuckers, Stoltzfuss, Shontzs, Kurtzs, Kauffmans, Masts, Zugs, Yoders, and Planks with Beilers Millers, Hertzlers, Hallys, Lapps, and Troyers are all in his holy ranks in the shadow of lifes evening we rejoice in our boys. Lord teach them thy power to save and give never ending joys.
Long after our mouldering bodies in the church yard lie let this posterity send thy Gospel light, willing to do and die. Now help them stand as monuments with thy word sincere all clothed in unspotted garments when thou dost appear.
Note: Gan-sho-han-ne meaning “the mother of waters”, is the Indian name for the Schuylkill river. The Dutch name Schuylkill means hidden streams. The outlet of the Schuylkill where it flows into the Delaware River is so wide as not to be observable. The Schuylkill is the principal stream of Berks County in Southeastern Penna. with important branches, Ontelaunee and Manatawny.
A poem of some of the Amish of Kishacoquillas Valley
Edwin Earl Espenshade
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Mast, C. Z., "Gan-sho-han-ne Poem" (1950). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 62.
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