Patriot's Corner · The Meaning of Patriotism · Poems

Paul Revere's Ride

Silversmith Paul Revere was a Patriot supporter before his famous ride. He was prevented from reaching Concord by a redcoat patrol, but Longfellow's poem made Revere more famous than Sam Prescott, his comrade, who reached Concord and informed the Minutemen that the English were coming. The original signal on the English approach was transmitted to the two horsemen from the steeple of the Old North Church in Boston according to number of lanterns shown: "One if by Land, Two if by Sea."

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.

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.

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.


The New Colossus

Inspired by the sight of refugees arriving from Russia, Emma Lazarus published this sonnet to raise funds for the Statue of Liberty's pedestal, which bears these words inscribed on its base.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!


Acknowledgements | Mission

©2005 George A. Scheele MD