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> Founding Father, or at least uncle
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 18-Apr-2010, 06:57 PM
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Now, see? This was the anniversary of Paul Revere's dreadnought expedition today. We can't be forgetting that. Have some verse on me:


Paul Revere's Ride
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
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,
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.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,--
By 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
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,
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, and the secret dread
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,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
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 sombre and still.
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.

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.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
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 his 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,
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
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

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 meadow 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 redcoats 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.

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.
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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 18-Apr-2010, 09:59 PM
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Let us also remember the other rider that night, William Dawes. Dawes also rode to alert militiamen, but was not memorialized by Longfellow.



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stoirmeil 
Posted: 19-Apr-2010, 05:18 AM
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Good point. The Wikipedia writeup offers this clarification:

In fact, Revere and William Dawes rode from Boston to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that British soldiers were marching from Boston to Lexington to arrest Hancock and Adams and seize the weapons stores in Concord. Revere and Dawes then rode toward Concord, where the militia's arsenal was hidden. They were joined by Samuel Prescott, a doctor who happened to be in Lexington. Revere, Dawes, and Prescott were stopped by British troops in Lincoln on the road to nearby Concord. Prescott and Dawes escaped, but Revere was detained and questioned and then escorted at gunpoint by three British officers back to Lexington. Of the three riders, only Prescott arrived at Concord in time to warn the militia there.

And:

In 1896 Helen F. Moore, dismayed that William Dawes had been forgotten, penned a parody of Longfellow's poem:

'Tis all very well for the children to hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere;
But why should my name be quite forgot,
Who rode as boldly and well, God wot?
Why should I ask? The reason is clear—
My name was Dawes and his Revere.

We were still basically going on the Longfellow version when I was a school kid in the fifties. (In between duck and cover drills. smile.gif )
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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 19-Apr-2010, 08:25 AM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 19-Apr-2010, 07:18 AM)
We were still basically going on the Longfellow version when I was a school kid in the fifties. (In between duck and cover drills. smile.gif )

Hey, I'm only a month behind you.
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englishmix 
Posted: 19-Apr-2010, 10:42 AM
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Wow, I remember Longfellow's poem! It was refreshing to read again. And to learn of Dawes. Of course, they both had about the same prestige until about 1861 when Longfellow released that wonderful poem.

I always remembered that Revere ran a copper mill and plated the bottom hull of the USS Constitution providing the copper and brass fittings (mentioned below). My deceased brother & I had made a 4ft x 3ft model of that sailing ship years ago.

"Copper sheeting manufactured at Paul Revere's copper rolling mill in Canton Massachusetts was used to cover the dome of the new state house in 1803. The Commonwealth chose to replace it in 1874 with 23-carat gold leaf. Paul Revere also produced many of the brass fittings for a ship we know today as Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution."
From www.paulreverehouse.org/bio/coppermill.shtml
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 19-Apr-2010, 01:13 PM
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I have also read that Revere fittings held the Constitution's cannon in their mounts . . .

And speaking of stirring poems of patriotic conviction, Old Ironsides had her own moment in 1830, when the Navy was contemplating scrapping her and Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the ringing protest that helped to save her:

Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky;
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon’s roar; —
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more.

Her deck, once red with heroes’ blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o’er the flood,
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor’s tread,
Or know the conquered knee; —
The harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

Oh, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And there should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!
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coastman 
Posted: 30-Apr-2010, 03:22 PM
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New history books have deleted Paul Revere and other members of the "founding fathers". America is changing and not for the better.
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Patch 
Posted: 30-Apr-2010, 04:48 PM
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QUOTE (coastman @ 30-Apr-2010, 05:22 PM)
New history books have deleted Paul Revere and other members of the "founding fathers". America is changing and not for the better.

As I recall, that was changed in the last discussions held in Texas and all but Jefferson will be back.

I do not agree with leaving anyone or any thing out of our history.

Had all but one of the liberals on the board making the decisions not walked out the outcome would have been different.

Again, If you do not know your history you are doomed to repeat it. We entered the Korean police action and pushed the North Korean invasion back because Russia walked out of the UN hearings.

Slàinte,    

Patch    
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