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Paul Revere's Ride
Poetry Server ^ | 19th Century | Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Posted on 04/18/2012 9:21:32 AM PDT by TBP

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 to-night, 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 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 the 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 he gazed at 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 hurry 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, black 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 twitter of birds among the trees, And felt the breath of the morning breeze Blowing over the meadow 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 redcoats 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 for evermore! 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.


TOPICS: Books/Literature; History; Poetry; The Poetry Branch
KEYWORDS: america; godsgravesglyphs; history; longfellow; paulrevere
Today is an important day in American history. This was the best way I could think of to commemorate it.
1 posted on 04/18/2012 9:21:37 AM PDT by TBP
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To: TBP

Lovely! Thanks.


2 posted on 04/18/2012 9:26:22 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: TBP

It’s not Medford. It’s “Meffa”


3 posted on 04/18/2012 9:28:22 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: massgopguy

I hate to pick nits but Revere never made it to Concord.


4 posted on 04/18/2012 9:29:15 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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"Out started six officers, seized my bridle, put their pistols to my breast, ordered me to dismount, which I did. One of them, who appeared to have the command there, and much of a gentleman, asked me where I came from; I told him. He asked what time I left . I told him, he seemed surprised, said ''Sir, may I crave your name?'' I answered ''My name is Revere.”

~Paul Revere


5 posted on 04/18/2012 9:31:27 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: TBP
I keep this one on my FR home page...

Paul Revere - Arguably the first FReeper - he didn't even have dial-up but he had a horse and made historic use of it.

6 posted on 04/18/2012 9:32:49 AM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: TBP

Thank you, I needed this.


7 posted on 04/18/2012 10:03:30 AM PDT by Conservative4Ever (Waiting for the new tagline to download)
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To: TBP

My grandmother used to recite (not read) that to me when I was a wee tyke.


8 posted on 04/18/2012 10:26:03 AM PDT by Paine in the Neck (Romney's judicial appointments were more radical than Obama's)
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To: massgopguy

You are picking a nit with Longfellow. Were it not for Longfellow, there would be few nits to pick, most of the story would have faded from the popular consciousness. He gets credit for keeping the memory alive, but not for historical accuracy.

About half of Americans alive today cannot tell you what happened on December 7, 1941 or June 6, 1944, let alone the 18th of April in Seventy-Five. So thoroughly and successfully have the acolytes of Howard Zinn caste their evil spell on the teaching of American History.


9 posted on 04/18/2012 10:26:03 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Queeg Olbermann: Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them.)
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To: Conservative4Ever

BUMP!


10 posted on 04/18/2012 10:26:31 AM PDT by Graewoulf ((Dictator Baby-Doc Barack's obama"care" violates Sherman Anti-Trust Law, AND U.S. Constitution.))
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To: TBP
Today is an important day in American history.

No kidding! Today also marks the 70th anniversary of Doolittle's raid on Tokyo.

11 posted on 04/18/2012 10:34:24 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (My dream ticket for 2012 is John Galt & Dagny Taggart!)
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To: TBP

FReeper History Test

Who are the other two people that also made the ride with Paul Revere?

Why is Paul Revere the one mentioned most often in connection with this ride?

This is your FR history lesson quiz of the day. No reading through the thread to get the answers from other FReepers. However, you are allowed to research the internet but if you do so you must provide the link where you found the information. Research is an acceptable method to getting the right answer on a test.

Test being now...


12 posted on 04/18/2012 11:09:01 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: Night Hides Not
No kidding! Today also marks the 70th anniversary of Doolittle's raid on Tokyo.

How many of the Doolittle raiders still alive?

13 posted on 04/18/2012 11:13:56 AM PDT by dearolddad
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To: gunsequalfreedom
Why is Paul Revere the one mentioned most often in connection with this ride?

Because "Revere" rhymes with "hear" better than Dawes or Prescott.

14 posted on 04/18/2012 11:45:33 AM PDT by T. P. Pole
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To: gunsequalfreedom
And when you are finished with the test, read Paul Revere's Ride by David Hackett Fischer to see just how large a contribution was made by Mr. Revere and why Fischer called him "the Mercury of the American Revolution."
15 posted on 04/18/2012 6:31:12 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Steyn: Obama sez: "Nice little Supreme Court you got here. Shame if anything were to happen to it.")
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To: T. P. Pole

You get an A+


16 posted on 04/18/2012 7:41:31 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: TBP; Pharmboy

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks TBP.

Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


17 posted on 04/18/2012 8:38:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

18 posted on 04/18/2012 10:17:48 PM PDT by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

I’ve always loved the irony of being famous because your name fits into a poem better.


19 posted on 04/19/2012 1:18:57 PM PDT by T. P. Pole
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To: Liberty Valance

http://www.nascar.com/2007/news/features/06/22/where.is.dtrickle/index.html


20 posted on 04/19/2012 2:35:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: T. P. Pole
I’ve always loved the irony of being famous because your name fits into a poem better.

Come young men and hear of the run,
of the midnight dash of gunsequalfreedom!

21 posted on 04/19/2012 6:49:48 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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