Fifes and Drums/"Ride, Vigilantes!"


Ride through the land, Vigilantes, ride!
From this bound of the East where the inrolling tide
With more than the red of the sunrise is dyed,
As crimson the foam is borne to our strand!

Draw not the rein, and make not your stand,
Till ye come to the slumbering heart of the land:
Tell them who sleep—so loth to awake,
All unprepared for the storm that must break—
Tell them, Humanity's all is at stake!
Tell them, "'Tis Freedom that falls in the breach!"

If they murmur, adream, "Our peace, we beseech—
The peoples at war—they speak not our speech!"
Ye will say, "If ye sleep, then sleep—to your shame!
Freedom's no alien, but one and the same;
Wake ye, and arm ye, in her great name!"

Ride, Vigilantes, lifting your light,
Ride through the day, and ride through the night,
Searching out Men of Valor and Might!—

Edith M. Thomas.