« ForrigeFortsett »
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
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,
10 Then he climbed to the tower of the church,
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
On the somber rafters, that round him made 15 Masses and moving shapes of shade
Up the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
A moment on the roofs of the town, 20 And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread, 25 The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
Of the place and the hour, the secret dread 30 Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
Where the river widens to meet the bay-
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride, 5 Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Then impetuous stamped the earth,
But mostly he watched with eager search
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!
20 The hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
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,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep, 30 Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders, that skirt its edge,
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
He saw the gilded weathercock
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
15 It was two by the village clock
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
And felt the breath of the morning breeze 20 Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
25 You know the rest. In the books you have read,
How the British-regulars fired and fled,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane;
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
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,
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
Class Reading. Bring to class and read “The Reveille,” Harte; “A Troop of the Guard,” Hagedorn (in The Home Book of Verse).
RALPH WALDO EMERSON
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
5 The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone,
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