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Concord Hymn.

April 6, 2010


This poem was written to be sung as a hymn at the completion of the monument erected on the bank of the Concord River in Massachusetts April 19, 1836. It was there that the colonial minutemen withstood the British regulars on April 19, 1775, and “fired the shot heard round the world,” beginning the War of American Independence.

—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 which seaward creeps.
On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set to-day a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.
Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, or leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.