On this day, 150 years ago, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published "Paul Revere's Ride".
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; t
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, t
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.
There's more; it's 130 lines long. And it's much more than a fictionalized version of Revere's ride. Jill Lepore explained in an op-ed piece in The New York Times yesterday, that " 'Paul Revere's Ride' is less a poem about the Revolutionary War than about the impending Civil War -- and about the conflict over slavery that caused it."