“The shot heard ’round the world.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson was a key early American philosopher, poet and writer, particularly known for his appreciation of individualism, self-reliance and intuition. He wrote this poem, which was sung as a hymn at a July 4, 1837 ceremony to mark the completion of the Concord Monument, to immortalize the resistance of American Minutemen to British forces on April 19, 1775. The poem’s phrase “shot heard round the world” is now internationally famous for its description of the philosophical importance of the American Revolution.
By 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;
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;
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
The shaft we raise to them and thee.