Tributes to one battle and those who fought it, made both vivid and poignant through poetic verse. The first, I look upon often during my morning walks at Minute Man National Park. The second, Longfellow, is from a collection of poems I was given entitled The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
“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 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.
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 red-coats 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.”
(Excerpt from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s Paul Revere’s Ride)