The Minute-Man

By Dora B. Hunter

With his eager, resolute eyes aglow,
Alert for a glimpse of the nearing foe,
With his sturdy shoulder backward thrown,
Facing odds that he dare not own,
Ready to start at the country’s call,
To win if God will—if He will, to fall,
Whatever may cost the impending strife,
Home or fortune or limb or life—
Ready to give what the hour demands,
The hero of Concord’s story stands.

Just as they stood on that April morn
When American liberty there was born;
Plows beside them, but arms in hand—
They, the Middlesex farmer-band.
Who dared to dream that these scattered groups
Could rout the orderly British troops?
That these farmer youth half-armed, untrained,
Could keep the fame of their State unstained?
But when His Majesty’s soldiers came
To the spot now wearing so proud a name,
The minute-men marched down from the ridge
And won the day at the old North Bridge.

Concord river in quiet flows
Past the spot where the English dead repose,
And one hundred years has that night’s renown
Been the heritage of the peaceful town.
Along the stream the historic sod
Is bright with daisies and golden-rod,
With never a hint of the bloody fight
That was won by the Concord yeomen’s might.

But the minute-man is standing now
In his valor’s strength, beside his plow,
On the spot where he fought at his country’s call
A grateful people’s memorial.
Does any one ask his rank or worth,
His fortune, family, name or birth?
This was a lad whose brave right arm,
Raised in the moment of dire alarm,
When first the sound of the foeman’s gun
Resounded through Concord and Lexington,
Ne’er fell to his side till in dawn’s gray light
The patriot farmers had won the fight.
But his name—his name—do you ask again?
He was one of the famous minute-men!

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