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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Concord Hymn

(The Minute Man by Daniel Chester French,
1850-1931, in Concord, Massachusetts)

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote this poem in 1836 for the dedication of the obelisk at Concord. This monument was erected to commemorate the first battle of the Revolution at Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775. The statue of the minute man was placed there later, in 1875.


By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American essayist, poet and philosopher

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