poetry

Across the moon like a prison bar

Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

– from “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I used to have this entire poem memorized, though I can no longer remember in what grade, or for what teacher, this was done. It was pre-high school for sure. At any rate, this stanza has always been my favorite, and my favorite line of it is the one about the moon. It gets stuck in my head the way a song does. I suspect that if I put some effort into it I could get the poem back.

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