An April Morn


by: Donald A. MacCord


The morning was yet some hours away,
when the din of hoofs beats I heard some distance away.
The neigh of the horse, the shout of a voice,
the urgency left me without out any choice.
I shook out the slumber from inside my head,
I threw open the shutters and stuck out my head.
The rider was dressed as black as the night.
His face was familiar yet he was quite a sight.
I asked "what news do you bring us this morn?"
His answer was bleak, his demeanor forlorn.
"The British are coming and are spoiling to fight."
With the wave of a hand and a shout to his horse
The rider rode off like an eagle in flight.

Tarry not did I do after the visitor left
but dressing as fast as I humanly could, 
I took my old flintlock and my scrimshaw and 
ball and made a fast pace through the path in the wood.
The light of the dawn was just rising the crest
when I entered the village and saw all the rest

Baker and blacksmith and the tavernkeeper too had 
join with not just a farmers few, 
standing shoulder to shoulder on the village green 
with a cause in their eyes seen by the glean.
The air was quite chilly made worse by the dew
Yet neighbor and friend stood fast in the park
Loyal Englishmen we were, we did not spoil for a fight
but no grenadier had cause to parade in the dark.
they were worse than the wolves that preyed in the night.

The hours passed slowly, one, two then to four,
The air warmed slowly as the sun rose above.
A promise of springtime on this April morn,
A ragtag of company and we seemed so forlorn
That the women gave cakes and warm tea to the men
Maybe the British had retreated far out in the glen
But our hopes were defeated when we heard the wail
of the bagpipes and drums of the highlander men.

Then down the road from towards Arlington town
we saw the dust rising, our eyes were fixed towards the sound
and our fear could be seen by the groove of our frown.
Yet not a man nor a boy for that matter
did turn his back and run from the clatter.

We watched in awe as the King's fine troops,
drew close up to the homes gray stoops,
a line of red and white and green.
I knew that then if things when bad,
no match were we, our numbers to lean. 
"Disperse ye rebels!" he said with a voice quite loud
Yet we stood our ground our heads held proud.
Again the order even louder he gave,
Each man and boy stood tall and brave.

Each eye look straight at a soldier's face
our hearts were beating at a rapid pace
A stillness hung or'e the Common's air
No words were said just a hateful stare.
It happened in a instant, a dreadful sound
The smoke and the noise exploded around  
A neighbor then fell wounded to the ground
Followed by another and another still.

No man can be faulted for breaking the line,
They had done their duty, becoming patriots fine.
The redcoats then queued, it was Concord's turn,
and marched out of the village, but they soon
would be burned.
 
No one did know at that moment in time
that a nation would rise from our actions that day
That the shots that were fired would cause a people to say,
Look yonder to Lexington my brethern and see
the bravery of their actions have made all Americans free.

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