"LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear
Of the early evening ride of Paul Revere,
On the twentieth, or twenty-first, of May, or possibly June, in Seventy-six, or maybe Seventy-seven;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who refudiates that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, while ringing those bells, ‘We must see the French a-coming
By land or sea or some other way, maybe by air, from the town to-night,
And tell our British friends, and our British enemies,
And warn them of bears, the big majestic polar bears, that lurk amid the French a-strumming
Their mandolins, and other French instruments, that make a patriot so squirmish.
Shoot a flair up at Lexington and Concord,
Those fabled towns of New Hampshire and Vermont
Where General Lee made his valiant stands;.
And no one will take that flair gun away from me,
Not from my cold, dead hands.
Of that church, you know the one, with the name, whatever it’s called, up in the tower as a signal light,—
One, if by land, and two, if by air;
And I on the opposite shore will be, in a very large bus;
That is painted so patriotically;
And I will ride my white steed so fair.
Then I will ride a Harley, that I was pulling on a trailer behind the bus, and spread the alarm,
Man, I love the smell of that emissions
That smell is freedom, carried by horse,
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
Not horse emissions, chopper emissions.
But horse emissions are very patriotic.
And I will warn the British that the British are coming.
Which should confuse them very much.
Then he said, ‘Good-night!’ and with shotgun in hand
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore, that Last Frontier,
We were rowing because the outboard motor didn’t work, thanks to the EPA;
Just as the sun rose over the Mighty Mississippi,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
Which sounds a little gay;
A phantom ship, part of our hollowed-out Democrat Navy
Across the moon like a prison bar, where we should lock up all the French,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified, by Fox,
And by its own reflection in the tide, not the detergent, but the water that comes in from the sea in waves, I’m not sure how exactly."
— Just dug this up in The Atlantic archives. Apparently, this was Longfellow’s first draft of the immortal “Paul Revere’s Ride,” written with a certain 21st century former governor in mind.