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Paul Revere’s Ride

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Paul Revere's Ride

Paul Revere's Ride

 

 

Paul Revere’s Ride

Listen, my children, and you shall hear

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that famous day and year.

 

He said to his friend, “If the British march

By land or sea from the town tonight,

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch

Of the North Church tower, as a signal light,—

One, if by land, and two, if by sea;

And I on the opposite shore will be,

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

Through every Middlesex village and farm,

For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

 

Then he said, “Good-night”; and with muffled oar

Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,

Just as the moon rose over the bay,

Where, swinging wide at her moorings, lay

The Somerset, British man-of-war,

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar

Across the moon like a prison bar,

And a huge black hulk, that was magnified

By its own reflection in the tide.

 

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street

Wanders and watches with eager ears,

Till, in the silence around him, he hears

The muster of men at the barrack door,

The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,

And the measured tread of the grenadiers

Marching down to their boats on the shore.

 

Then he climbed to the tower of the old North Church,

By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,

To the belfry chamber overhead,

And startled the pigeons from their perch

On the sombre rafters, that round him made

Masses and moving shapes of shade;

By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,

To the highest window in the wall,

Where he paused to listen, and look down

A moment on the roofs of the town,

And the moonlight flowing over all.

 

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead

In their night encampment on the hill,

Wrapped in silence so deep and still

That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,

The watchful night wind, as it went,

Creeping along from tent to tent,

And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”

A moment only he feels the spell

Of the place and hour, and the secret dread

Of the lonely belfry and the dead,

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent

On a shadowy something far away,

Where the river widens to meet the bay,

A line of black, that bends and floats

On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

 

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride

On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.

Now he patted his horse’s side,

Now gazed on the landscape far and near,

Then impetuous stamped the earth,

And turned and tightened his saddle girth;

But mostly he watched with eager search

The belfry tower of the old North Church,

As it rose above the graves on the hill,

Lonely and spectral, and sombre and still.

And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height

A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!

He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,

But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight

A second lamp in the belfry burns.

 

A harry of hoofs in a village street,

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,

And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark

Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;

That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,

The fate of a nation was riding that night;

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,

Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,

And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,

Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;

And under the alders, that skirt its edge,

Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,

Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

 

It was twelve by the village clock

When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.

He heard the crowing of the cock,

And the barking of the farmer’s dog,

And felt the damp of the river fog,

That rises after the sun goes down.

 

It was one by the village clock

When he galloped into Lexington,

He saw the gilded weathercock

Swim in the moonlight as he passed,

And the meeting house windows, blank and bare,

Gaze at him with a spectral glare

As if they already stood aghast

At the bloody work they would look upon.

 

It was two by the village clock

When he came to the bridge in Concord town.

He heard the bleating of the flock,

And the twittering of birds among the trees,

And felt the breath of the morning breeze

Blowing over the meadows brown.

And one was safe and asleep in his bed

Who at the bridge would be first to fall,

Who that day would be lying dead,

Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read

 

How the British regulars fired and fled—

How the farmers gave them ball for ball,

From behind each fence and farmyard wall,

Chasing the red coats down the lane,

Then crossing the fields to emerge again

Under the trees at the turn of the road,

And only pausing to fire and load.

 

So through the night rode Paul Revere;

And so through the night went his cry of alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm—

A cry of defiance, and not of fear—

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,

And a word that shall echo forever-more;

For borne on the night wind of the past,

Through all our history to the last,

In the hour of darkness and peril and need,

The people will waken and listen to hear

The hurrying hoof beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

By Henry W. Longfellow

Happy 4th of July and God Bless America.

Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

 

 

 

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11 Comments

Brian G. says: 4 July 2009 - 9:32 pm

This is Great Giovanna!

Hilary says: 4 July 2009 - 11:14 pm

Hi Gio .. all lands shaped by heroes .. and history tells there story .. it’s a wonderful saga by Longfellow ..
Enjoy Independence weekend .. you all deserve it ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Arswino says: 5 July 2009 - 5:10 am

Hi Giovanna, great story here.
Happy Independence Day for you and your country.

Stephen - Rat Race Trap says: 5 July 2009 - 1:38 pm

Giovanna, thanks for posting this. It’s been a long time since I heard it and it was wonderful.

Deanna Finlinson says: 5 July 2009 - 10:51 pm

Giovanna,
That is wonderful to read that again. Thank you for reminding us of what they did to gain our freedom. How would we do today. Would we stand up and fight or let our freedoms go by the wayside. We have to be watchful to keep our freedoms or they will be lost. Will we stand and fight or let them go without a fight. What do we choose today.
Dan and Deanna “Marketing Unscrambled”

Giovanna Garcia says: 6 July 2009 - 10:43 pm

Hi Stephen

I am glad you enjoyed reading this again.
Thanks for your comment and I always like to read you have to say.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Giovanna Garcia says: 6 July 2009 - 10:50 pm

Hi Deanna

A great question you asked, “What will we do today?”
I am thankful that I live in America, I love this country and what I stand for.
Thanks for your comment and joining the conversation.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Giovanna Garcia says: 6 July 2009 - 11:16 pm

Hi Brian
Thanks for your comment and support.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Giovanna Garcia says: 6 July 2009 - 11:18 pm

Hi Hilary

We must remember history’s hero.
Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts.
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Giovanna Garcia says: 6 July 2009 - 11:18 pm

Hi Arswino

Thanks for the well wishes and your comment. Great to see you. :-)
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Brian Derrig says: 2 March 2012 - 10:39 am

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