Night Ride: A short story

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More by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride, Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride, On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.

Matilda's night ride

And lo! 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!

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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 that flies 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. 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, blank 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 be 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.

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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. 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 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 The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed, And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

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Norman was selected to serve as the Poet Laureate for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and was officially installed as Laureate on April 24, Three short films, directed by Andrew Garrison, have been based on three of Professor Norman's short stories:. Skip to main content. People Map. Share this page:. Appalachian Center English. Gurney Norman CV University of Kentucky. Graduate Training.

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Night Ride: A short story Night Ride: A short story
Night Ride: A short story Night Ride: A short story
Night Ride: A short story Night Ride: A short story
Night Ride: A short story Night Ride: A short story
Night Ride: A short story Night Ride: A short story

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