Monday, April 19, 2010

Lexington and Concord

Kate and I have a quite small, but growing, collection of nice (or at least meaningful) art. One of the less nice, but more meaningful pieces that I like a lot is a simple painting on a wood panel of Captain John Parker, of the Lexington militia, that used to belong to my grandparents. He stands at attention at one side of the bedroom door (on the other side is Daniel Morgan, the captain of a Virginia rifle company).

Concord Hymn
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, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

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