“Tales of a Wayside Inn”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807-1882
“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.”
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.”
Schoolchildren used to know that poem—at least the first verse—by heart. Now, of course, it’s doubtful they even know the name Paul Revere.
As for William Dawes and the others…
William Dawes*? Others?
Yeah, there were a whole bunch of messengers who rode out that April 18th 1775 night after Robert Newman, sexton of the Old North Church, hung two lanterns in the steeple. They scattered across the countryside, heading to Lexington to warn revolutionary leaders Samuel Adams (no, not the beer guy) and John Hancock (and no, not the insurance guy) that the British army was on its way to capture them.
Ironically, considering the recent defeat the liberals’ gun grabbin’ plot to infringe on our 2nd Amendment rights, Revere and his companion William Dawes decided to ride on to Concord to warn the people the British (no, not Piers Morgan) were on their way to confiscate the munitions the Provincial Congress had stored in the Armory.
Paul Revere and William Dawes never made it, stopped on the road by British troops. But other riders got through and ya’ know what happened—or you should. Roused from their beds, the Minutemen faced down the British on Concord Bridge and fired “the shot heard ‘round the world.”
When those bombs went off durin’ the Boston Marathon—which commemorates Boston’s most famous horseman’s ride—it was an attack on the very foundation of our nation. And when power-hungry tyrants try to strip us of our rights, we will fight back.
*AHM says some people claim Wadsworth considered two opening lines for his famous poem. The one we know and this one:
“Listen, my children, and give a pause
For the midnight ride of William Dawes.”
He chose well.
posted by Harrison at 11:34 PM
It's so sad what schools are teaching now instead of American history and culture.10:05 AM