Author's Note: I have a bad habit of doing parodies of writings. This is not my best work, but it's
passable. This is based on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's 'Paul
Revere's Ride' first published in "The Atlantic Monthly" in January
of 1861. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Don't own the Magnificent Seven, don't own "Paul Revere's Ride". Just borrowing them to have a little fun.
Magnificent Seven's Fight
Listen, my children and you shall hear
Of seven lawmen who did appear
In the nick of time to deliver our fair town
These seven men of great renown
Who prevailed for us to quell our fear
They said to townsmen, -- "If the bad guys ride
From the West or from the South to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the window- side
Of the town's church tower, as a signal-light, --
One if from South, and two if from West;
And we will endeavor to win our quest,
Ready to ride and keep you from harm
You all go home to your houses and farms,
And allow us the chance to battle at arms."
Then they said good-night, and with a tip of hat
Slipped into the shadows as quick as that,
Just as the moon rose up to the side,
With its light leaving no place to hide,
They waited for bad guys to appear
On horses that ran, whinnied and reared
And tossed their heads instilling some fear,
And the riders drew guns and fired rounds
Which echoed in a riotous sound.
Meanwhile, Seven, in alley and street
They wait and they watch with eager ears
So in the silence around them they hear
The gathering of men at the bank door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the impatient noise of horses' fears
As they also approached Potter's Store
Then Vin climbed to the tower of the church,
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry-chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the somber rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade, --
Up the light ladder, slender and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment of 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, the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something drawing nigh
Where the horizon lifts to meet the sky, --
A line of black, that changes courses
On the plain's flat floor, a line of horses.
Meanwhile, impatient to win and fight,
Booted and spurred, they made quite a sight,
In the still town the seven men stayed near.
They stood ready, guns at their sides,
Now gazed on the landscape far and near,
Then impetuous stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened their gun-belt's girth;
But mostly they watched with eager search
The belfry-tower of the town's own church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely, and spectral, and somber, and still.
And lo! As they look, on the belfry's height,
A glimmer and then a gleam o flight!
They stand at attention and ready their guns
But linger and gaze, til full on their sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns!
A hurry of feet 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 the men that fly fearless and fleet
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of our small town was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by those men in the right
Kindled the men into flame with its heat.
It was twelve by the village-clock,
When they arrived on the main street of town
They heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog
And felt the hand of doom like a cold fog
That rises when the sun goes down.
Minutes passed by the village clock,
When they rode into our small town
Seven saw the robbers and frowned
Swim in the moonlight as they passed
And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare,
Gaze at them with spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
Time passed on by the village-clock.
When they came to the bank in our small town.
They 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 meadows brown.
And sought the safe while all slept in their beds
And thought to blow their way through it
But they, that night, would be dead
Shot through by the Seven's bullets.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the gang of bank robbers fired and fled
How the Seven caused them all to fall
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the robbers 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 we didn't fear;
And so through the night they kept us safe from harm
We were safely ensconced in house and farm, --
They battled with passion and not with fear, --
A bullet in darkness, a dive to the floor
A vic'try that shall echo forevermore!
For, born 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 quiet voice of the Seven's lead,
The Seven who delivered us from fear.
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