Nonfiction > Verse > Ralph Waldo Emerson > The Complete Works > Poems
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882).  The Complete Works.  1904.
Vol. IX. Poems
I. Poems
Concord Hymn
Sung at the Completion of the Battle Monument, July 4, 1837

BY 1 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;        5
  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;        10
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        15
  The shaft we raise to them and thee.
Note 1. From a copy of this hymn as first printed on slips for distribution among the Concord people at the celebration of the completion of the monument on the battle-ground, I note the differences from the poem here given as finally revised by Mr. Emerson in the Selected Poems. In the early editions of the Poems the date is given as 1836. This is a mistake. The Middlesex Yeoman gives the account of this celebration in 1837, and on the original slip in my possession some one sending it to a friend at that time, has written “Sung by the people on battle-ground at the completion of the monument, 4th of July, 1837.”
  The first two verses retain exactly their original form. In the third, the third line, as sung, was
  We place with joy a votive stone.
The last verse originally began
  O Thou, who made those heroes dare
To die or leave their children free.

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