Paul Revere's Ride, With Apologies to Longfellow

I just dug this up in The Atlantic archives. Apparently, this was Longfellow's first draft of the immortal "Paul Revere's Ride."

LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear   
Of the early evening ride of Paul Revere,   
On the twentieth, or twenty-first, of May, or possibly June, in Seventy-six, or maybe Seventy-seven;   
Hardly a man is now alive   
Who refudiates that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, while ringing those bells, 'We must see the French a-coming   
By land or sea or some other way, maybe by air, from the town to-night,
And tell our British friends, and our British enemies,
And warn them of bears, the big majestic polar bears, that lurk amid the French a-strumming
Their mandolins, and other French instruments, that make a patriot so squirmish.   
Shoot a flare up at Lexington and Concord,
Those fabled towns of New Hampshire and Vermont
Where General Lee made his valiant stands;.
And no one will take that flare gun away from me,
Not from my cold, dead hands.  
Of that church, you know the one, with the name, whatever it's called, up in the tower as a signal light,--   
One, if by land, and two, if by air;           
And I on the opposite shore will be, in a very large bus;
That is painted so patriotically;   
And I will ride my white steed so fair.
Then I will ride a Harley, that I was pulling on a trailer behind the bus, and spread the alarm, 
Man, I love the smell of that emissions
That smell is freedom, carried by horse,
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
Not horse emissions, chopper emissions.
But horse emissions are very patriotic.
And I will warn the British that the British are coming.
Which should confuse them very much.   
Then he said, 'Good-night!' and with shotgun in hand           
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore, that Last Frontier,
We were rowing because the outboard motor didn't work, thanks to the EPA;   
Just as the sun rose over the Mighty Mississippi,   
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay   
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
Which sounds a little gay;   
A phantom ship, part of our hollowed-out Democrat Navy
Across the moon like a prison bar, where we should lock up all the French,   
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified, by Fox,   
And by its own reflection in the tide, not the detergent, but the water that comes in from the sea in waves, I'm not sure how exactly.


Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


Photos of New York City, in Motion

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book


The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"


This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.


What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In