Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town,
And the moonlight flowing over all.

6 Beneath, in the church-yard, lay the dead

In their night-encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still,
That he could hear, like a sentinel's trcad,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “ All is well !”
A moment only he feels the spello
Of the place and the hour, the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay, —
A line of black, that bends and floats
On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats.

7 Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,

Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride,
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then impetuous stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle-girth ;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely, and spectral, and sombre, and still.

8 And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height,

A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!

9 A hurry of hoofs in a village-street,

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed that flies 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.

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 when the sun goes down.


It was one by the village-clock,
When he rode 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.

12 It was two by the village-clock,

When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning-breeze
Blowing over the meadows brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket-ball.

13 You know the rest. In the books


have read
How the British regulars fired and fled,
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard-wall,
Chasing the red-coats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

14 So through the night rode Paul Revere ;

And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore !
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed,
And the midnight-message of Paul Revere.




[This sketch of Washington's manner of life, from the close of the old French war to the beginning of the revolution, is from the first volume of Irving's “Life of Washington.”]

Mount VERNON was beautifully situated on a swelling height, crowned with wood, and commanding a magnificent view up and down the Potomac. The grounds immedi

ately about it were laid out somewhat in the English 5 taste. The estate was apportioned into separate farms,

devoted to different kinds of culture, cach having its allot.

ted laborers ; much, however, was still covered with wild woods, seamed with deep dells and runs of water, and indented with inlets-haunts of deer and lurking-places of

foxes. The whole woody region along the Potomac from 5 Mount Vernon to Belvoir, and far beyond, with its range

of forests, and hills, and picturesque promontories, afforded sport of various kinds, and was a noble hunting-ground. Washington had hunted through it with old Lord Fairfax

in his stripling days; we do not wonder that his feelings 10 throughout life incessantly reverted to it.

"No estate in United America,” observes he in one of his letters, " is more pleasantly situated — in a high and healthy country; in a latitude between the extremes of

heat and cold ; on one of the finest rivers in the world, a 15 river well stocked with various kinds of fish at all seasons

of the year, and in the spring with shad, herring, bass, carp, sturgeon, &c., in great abundance. The borders of the estate are washed by more than ten miles of tide.

water; several valuable fisheries appertain to it; the whole 20 shore, in fact, is one entire fishery.”

These were as yet the aristocratical days of Virginia. The estates were large, and continued in the same families by entail. Many of the wealthy planters were connected

with old families in England. The young men, especially 25 the elder sons, were often sent to finish their education

there, and on their return brought out the tastes and habits of the mother country. The governors of Vir. ginia were from the higher ranks of society, and main

tained a corresponding state. The established" or 30 Episcopal church predominated throughout the ancient

dominion,” as it was termed; each county was divided into parishes, as in England — each with its parochial church, its parsonage, and glebe.

A style of living prevailed among the opulent Virginia 35 families in those days that has long since faded away.

The houses were spacious, commodious, liberal in all their

appointments, and fitted to cope with the free-handed, open-hearted hospitality of the owners. Nothing was more common than to see handsome services of plate, ele

gant equipages, and superb carriage horses — all imported 5 from England.

The Virginia planters were prone to leave the care of their estates too much to their overseers, and to think personal labor a degradation. Washington carried into

his rural affairs the same method, activity, and circum10 spection that had distinguished him in military life. He

kept his own accounts, posted up his books, and balanced them with mercantile exactness. We have examined them, as well as his diaries recording his daily occupations, and

his letter-books, containing entries of shipments of tobacco, 15 and correspondence with his London agents. They are

monuments of his business habits. The products of his estate also became so noted for the faithfulness, as to quantity and quality, with which they were put up, that

it is said any barrel of flour that bore the brand of 20 George Washington, Mount Vernon, was exempted from

the customary inspection in the West India ports. He rose early, often before daybreak in the winter when the nights were long. On such occasions he lighted his own

fire, and wrote or read by candlelight. He breakfasted 25 at seven in summer, at eight in winter. Two small cups

of tea, and three or four cakes of Indian meal, (called hoe-cakes,) formed his frugal repast. Immediately after breakfast he mounted his horse, and visited those parts of

the estate where any work was going on, seeing to every30 thing with his own eyes, and often aiding with his own hand.

Washington delighted in the chase. In the hunting season, when he rode out early in the morning to visit

distant parts of the estate, he often took some of the dogs 35 with him, for the chance of starting a fox, which he occasionally did, though he was not always successful in kill

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