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Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
spark Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet; That was all! And yet, through the gloom
and the light, The fate of a nation was riding that night; And the spark struck out by that steed' in his
flight Kindled the land into flame with its heat. He has left the village and mounted the steep, And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep, Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides ; And under the alders, that skirt its edge, Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge, 85 Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides. It was twelve by the village clock, When he crossed the bridge into Medford' town. He heard the crowing of the cock And the barking of the farmer's dog, And felt the damp of the river fog, That rises after the sun goes down. It was one by the village clock, When he galloped into Lexington." He saw the gilded weathercock Swim in the moonlight as he passed, And the meeting-house windows blank and bare, Gaze at him with a spectral glare As if they already stood aghast At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
of defiance and not of fear,
130 NOTES ON PAUL REVERE'S RIDE.
1 Paul Revere's Ride. The English English soldiers. About Lexing.
Parliament, to repair the losses ton the struggle was most obstincaused by the Seven Years' War, ate, and it is here that the strugattempted to tax our North Ame- gle' for American Independence rican Colonies. The Colonists re- may be said to have commenced fused to pay the unjust tax and in 1775, which ended in its fulfilflung the taxed tea into Boston ment in 1781. harbour. Both Chatham, in the 2 Seventy-five, the year 1775. Lords, and Burke in the Com- 3 North Church, in Boston. mons warned Parliament against 4 Middlesex, a county in the State of the folly of this course. General Massachusetts. Gage, commander of the British 5 Charlestown shore, a peninsula troops in Boston, sent a detach. formed by the Mystic and Charles ment to seize some military rivers, and separated from Boston stores at Concord. After effecting by the Charles river. The town this the troops set out on their of Charlestown is on the peninreturn to Boston, but the people
sula. had been warned of their approach, 6 Mystic, a river on the north side of and every point of vantage was the Charlestown peninsula. occupied by American marks- 7 Medford, Lexington, Concord, towns men who cut off many of the in Middlesex county.
1. From a child Surajah Dowlah' had hated the English. It was his whim to do so; and his whims were never opposed. He had also formed much too high a notion of the wealth which might be obtained by plundering them; and his feeble and untrained mind was unable to see that the riches of Calcutta, had they been even greater than he imagined, would not compensate? him for what he must lose, if the European trade, of which Bengal was a chief seat, should be driven by his violence to some other quarter.
2. Pretexts for a quarrel were readily found. The English, in expectation of a war with France, had begun to fortify their settlement
without special permission from the Nabob. A rich native, whom he longed to plunder, had taken refuge at Calcutta, and had not been delivered up. On such grounds as these Surajah Dowlah marched with a great army against Fort William.3
3. The servants of the Company at Madras had been forced by Dupleix to become statesmen and soldiers. Those in Bengal were still mere traders, and were terrified and bewildered by the approaching danger. who had heard much of Surajah Dowlah's cruelty, was frightened out of his wits, jumped into a boat, and took refuge in the nearest ship. The military commandant thought that he could not do better than follow so good an example.
4. The fort was taken after a feeble resistance; and great numbers of the English fell into the hands of the conquerors. The Nabob seated himself with regal pomp in the principal hall of the factory, and ordered Mr. Holwell
, the first in rank among the prisoners, to be brought before bim. His Highness talked about the insolence of the English, and grumbled at the smallness of the treasure which he had found; but promised to spare their lives, and retired to rest.
5. Then was committed that great crime, memorable for its singular atrocity," memorable for the tremendous retribution 8 by which it was followed.
The English captives were left