I first wrote this last year but today is a good time to repost it.
Listen my children and you shall hear of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere
Twas the 18th of April, ‘75, hardly a man is now alive who remembers that famous day and year
As 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.
One if by land, and two if by sea, and I on the opposite sure shall be ready to ride and to spread the alarm through every Middlesex village and farm for the country folk to be up and to arm” (Longfellow)
Miss Meehan, my 5th Grade teacher at Woodland Street School in Worcester, MA wrote this on the chalkboard and had the students memorize and recite it. I’ve never forgotten it. Of course, there’s lots more to the poem.
About 1981, on April 18th, I was driving along the New York State Thruway, Rte 90, at an excessive speed. Why so fast? Because I was reciting this poem out loud, caught up in a bit of patriotism. At least that was my story to the state trooper who commented, “I bet Paul wasn’t going this fast”, as he handed me the speeding citation.
I will never forget the poem, the officer, the patriotic deed by Paul and friends, nor Miss Meehan.
Happy Patriots Day to all Bay Staters today, as well as Boston Marathoners.