February 16, 2010

Kyle reciting "Concord Hymn"

As I mentioned in my homeschool update blog, I am having the three oldest kids memorize a poem about America and especially about the American Colonies. Kyle and Jessi have finished their poems. I had Kyle memorize "Concord Hymn" by Ralph Waldo Emerson because it was about the first battle between the American Colonists and the British soldiers who were marching to Lexington to confiscate not only a store of guns and gunpowder to hamstring the Colonists revolutionary tendencies, but also John Hancock and Samuel Adams to silence them. Unfortunately for the soldiers, Paul Revere and his buddies had already alerted everyone and instead of taking the Colonists by surprise, they were surprised to see men at arms ready to defend themselves and John and Sam long gone. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote this hymn which was sung at a dedication of a monument on April 19, 1836. I chose it because of the most famous phrase "And fired a shot heard round the world." The poem in its entirety is shown below. My favorite part is the last stanza.

Concord Hymn
By the rude bridge that arched the flood
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled
Here once the emattled 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 today a votive stone
That memory may their deed redeem
When, like our sires, our sons are gone

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

by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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