Paul Revere’s Ride

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, 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 tread,
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 spell
Of the place and the hour, and 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.

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 he gazed at 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.
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.

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 flying 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.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

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 after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

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 meadow 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.

You know the rest. In the books you 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 redcoats 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.

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-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Distinction in United States Constitution between citizen and natural born citizen


Written in 1881

XI; A citizen in the largest sense is any native or naturalized person who is entitled to full protection in the exercise and enjoyment of the so called private rights The natural born or native is one who is born in the country of citizen parents. {Again, note the plural- parents}

89 The Act of Congress usually referred to as the Civil Rights Bill confers citizenship The Constitution uses the words citizen and natural born citizen Citizens czVes of London are either freemen or such as reside and keep a family in the city etc and some are citizens and freemen and some are not who have not so great privileges as others The citizens of London may prescribe against a statute because their liberties are re enforced by statute. The word civis taken in the strictest sense extends only to him that is entitled to the privileges of a city of which he is a member and in that sense there is a distinction between a citizen and an inhabitant within the same city for every inhabitant there is not a citizen. A citizen is a freeman who has kept a family in a city. The usual definitions of citizen in English and American law will be found in Bouvier Law Dictionary Webster and Worcester.

The expression citizens in American law is often used to conve r the idea of membership in a nation. It is important to bear in mind that citizen is one of those expressions of frequent employment with the sound of which every one is familiar but it is an expression the full or accurate significance of which very few understand The word is sometimes loosely and inaccurately used eveu by writers and critics It has its origin of course in the word city Originally city did not signify a town but a portion of mankind who lived under the same government what the Romans called civitas and the Greeks 7roXi9 whence the word Tj oXm ca civitatis seu reipublicae status et admin istratio  The word national on the other hand came from the root natio the origin of which is obvious Vattel calls citizens citoyens those individuals that French writers of to day call nationals nationaux z The national nationaT says Cogordau 4 who is invested with full rights la plenitude des droits is in general called citizen It will not do however to confound these two terms as is too often done Every national in fact is not a citizen although every citizen is a national 5 In France for example minors married women the interdicted les interdits are not citizens but are nevertheless of French nationality they are deprived of political rights and enjoy civil rights In Algeria until within a brief period the Jews lived in French colonies and among subjects of France without being by French laws and to day the Arabs subject to France are not French citizens and their status is determined by Mussulman law  Cogordan points out that the word nationality national it now so frequently employed has been in use in France but a comparatively short time. A natural born citizen is one not made by law or otherwise but born And this class is the large majority in fact the mass of our citizens all others are exceptions specially provided for by law As they become citizens by birth so they remain citizens during their natural lives unless by their own voluntary act they expatriate themselves and become citizens or subjects of another nation for we have no law as the French have to dedtizenize a citizen who has become such either by the natural process of birth or the legal process of adoption The Constitution does not make the citizens it is in fact made by them it only recognizes such of them as are natural home born and provides for the naturalization of such of them as are alien foreign born making the latter as far as nature will allow like the former We have in the United States no middle class or denizens  but Attorney General Legare thought there might be. The example of a Roman citizen and St Paul’s case and claim thereto cited Paul’s is a leading case of the Jus Romanum it is analogous to our own it establishes the great protective rights of the citizen but like our own national Constitution it is silent about his powers The expression natural born citizen recognizes and reaffirms the universal principle common to all nations and as old as political society that the people born in a country do constitute the nation and as individuals are natural members of the body politic. Every person born in the country is at the moment of birth prima facie a citizen Nativity furnishes the rule both of duty and of right as between the individual and the government. In the legislation of the United States as has been pointed out elsewhere the distinction is constantly recognized between citizens and domiciled aliens In the Constitution itself provision is made for the adjudication of controversies to which aliens are parties by the federal as distinguished from the state courts with a view undoubtedly to international obligations resting upon the federal government.