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Short poem

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Hymn: Sung at the Completion of the Concord Monument, April 19, 1836

              1By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
              2     Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
              3Here once the embattled farmers stood,
              4     And fired the shot heard round the world.

              5The foe long since in silence slept;
              6     Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
              7And Time the ruined bridge has swept
              8     Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

              9On this green bank, by this soft stream,
            10     We set to-day a votive stone;
            11That memory may their deed redeem,
            12     When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

            13Spirit, that made those heroes dare
            14     To die, or leave their children free,
            15Bid Time and Nature gently spare
            16     The shaft we raise to them and thee.


1] The date became July 4, 1837, in the 1904 Complete Works to which day the dedication of the monument (erected in memory of the battles of Concord and Lexington, which took place on April 19, 1775) and the singing of the hymn had been postponed.

10] votive: erected in thanks.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Poems< (1846: London: Chapman, 1847). PS 1624 .A1 Robarts Library
First publication date: 4 July 1837
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/12/24

Composition date: 1836
Rhyme: abab

Other poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson