Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two If By Sea

"Listen my children, and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere..."  -Longfellow

What a great old poem, huh?  Legend has it that the man who lit the lanterns, Robert Newman, was drinking that night with British soldiers who had quartered his house and were boasting about their immediate invasion.
"On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five; hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and year..."  -Longfellow

Newman slipped out and climbed the old rickety steps of the North Church, lit the lantern that warned Revere and the others, then slipped back down, only to run smack into a Red Coat patrol...
"He said to his friend, 'If the British march by land or sea from the town tonight, hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch of the North Church tower as a signal light...'"  -Longfellow

His only means of escape was to tell them he'd been drinking with British soldiers earlier that night and had stepped out for more ale...they didn't believe him, until the men in his house confirmed the tale.  How about that?
"One if by land, and two if by sea, and I on the opposite shore will be, ready to ride and spread the alarm..."  -Longfellow

The day these pictures were taken, out along the Charles River on the famous Duck Tour, driving and boating... both Rebekah and Xian got to drive the boat and we laughed at how easy it was to leave our cares behind.
"For the country folk to be up and to arm..."  -Longfellow

Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride has been with me all my life.  Though much of the poem and the legend surrounding that night has been disproved, I still recalled passages of it out on the river.  Poetry does that sometimes, makes you feel like the legend is more important than fact.  Dreams too.

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