On this Fourth of July, spare some time between the barbecue and the fireworks to remember those patriots who fought to make this nation free. This is probably my favorite poem about the American Revolution, “Concord Hymn” by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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 that seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We place with joy a votive stone,
That memory may their deeds redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
O Thou who made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free, –
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raised to them and Thee.
“Concord Hymn” — Ralph Waldo Emerson