by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote Concord Hymn for the dedication of the Obelisk battle monument in Concord, Massachusetts in 1836. The Obelisk celebrates the lives of the men who gave their lives at the Battles of Lexington and Concord at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Emerson's grandfather fought in the battle and the Old North Bridge, which the song refers to sits next to the old Emerson family mansion, known as the Old Manse. Emerson wrote the song while staying there.
The song made it's way into the popular American conscience and it's phrase "the shot heard round the world," is often used when referring to the beginning of the American Revolution.
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 spirits dare,
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.
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Revolutionary War and Beyond!
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