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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, 5 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.

10 Then he climbed to the tower of the church,

Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch

On the somber rafters, that round him made 15 Masses and moving shapes of shade

Up 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, 20 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, 25 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, the secret dread 30 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, 5 Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,

On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side;
Now gazed at the landscape far and near;

Then impetuous stamped the earth,
10 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 somber, and still. 15 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!

20 The 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, 25 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, 30 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 the 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, 5 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
10 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.

15 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 20 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.

25 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;
30 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, 5 And a word that shall echo forevermore!

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 10 The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,

And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

NOTES AND QUESTIONS For Biography see page 136.

Discussion. 1. Read the poem through thoughtfully and be able to tell the story from this outline: (a) Understanding as to signals between Paul Revere and his friend; (b) The friend in Boston; (c) Paul Revere on the Charlestown-side of the river; (d) The ride. 2. What was Paul Revere's message? 3. Find the lines that describe the churchyard. 4. How does Longfellow make you feel the hurry of the rider? 5. What to you is the most expressive line in the poem? 6. Read again what is said on page 18 about the value of pplementing history books with literature. How is the story “in the books you have read” of the battle of Lexington enriched by the story in the poem? 7. How did Longfellow's prophecy at the end of the poem apply to our country in the World War? 8. What statement in the first paragraph of the Introduction on page 253 shows you the motive that caused Longfellow to write this poem? 9. Draw a map showing the relative positions of Boston, Charlestown, Medford, Lexington, Concord. 10. Suggest a series of pictures that would tell the story of this famous historic ride; where in your series would you place the picture on page 257? 11. Find in the Glossary the meaning of: grenadier; impetuous; spectral; tranquil; emerge. 12. Pronounce: barrack; alder.

Phrases for Study

night-encampment, 266, 22 from tent to tent, 266, 26

fate of a nation, 267, 25
night-wind of the Past, 269, 6

Class Reading. Bring to class and read “The Reveille,” Harte; “A Troop of the Guard,” Hagedorn (in The Home Book of Verse).

CONCORD HYMN

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,

And fired the shot heard round the world.

5 The foe long since in silence slept;

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And time the ruined bridge has swept

Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

10

On this green bank, by this soft stream,

We set today a votive stone,
That memory may their deed redeem,

When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those freemen dare

To die, and leave their children free, 15 Bid time and Nature gently spare

The shaft we raise to them and Thee.

NOTES AND QUESTIONS For Biography see page 77.

Historical Note. Emerson wrote this poem to celebrate the completion of the monument which marks the spot on which the battle of Concord was fought, April 19, 1775. This monument is the work of the American sculptor, Daniel C. French. The “Concord Hymn" was sung at the celebration, April 19, 1836.

Discussion. 1. In what sense was the shot "heard round the world”? 2. What did this battle mean to the world? 3. For what purpose does the poet say this “votive stone” is set? 4. How does this poem help memory "to redeem the deed”? 5. In what different ways does “memory

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