Another Midnight Ride

Ned LaRowe 2019

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of another ride that is true and dear.
Of a young girl’s brave and heroic ride
Through treacherous woodlands and country-sides.
The mid-night ride of a girl named Sybil
Was a ride for freedom, and that ain’t no dribble.

In April of seventeen seventy-seven
Rainclouds let loose in the starless heaven.
A messenger brought to the Colonel’s door
Frightful news concerning the war.
In Danbury, redcoats were burning supplies
Having arrived by ships and attacked by surprise.

“They’re burning the town. The sky glows red,”
The exhausted messenger faintly said.
“You must muster the militia, you must sound the alarms
Before they burn more houses or barns.
You must gather your troops; it’s our only hope,
Turn back those redcoats. Chase ‘em back to their boats.”

“I’ll call out my men; there is no time to dwell.
We must attack those redcoats; send them all to Hell.
But, I must stay here to assemble my men.
So, who will get them, whom can I send?
There are no other men here; none to be seen.
And my oldest child is but a girl of sixteen.”

“I will go, father, I know the way.
I know where they live and I know what to say.
I can ride a horse as well a man,
And, I know the trails like the back of my hand.
I will ride my horse, Star, he is fast and strong.
Don’t worry about me – nothing will go wrong.”

“But the night is dark and there are no stars at all
Your horse could slip and you could fall.
And the woods are filled with outlaws and thieves
Hiding to jump out from rocks, boulders, or trees.
No, the risk is great. Ah, but the need is greater.
You must leave now and not a minute later.”

So, at nine in the evening Sybil began her ride
With the courage and willpower and her patriot pride.
She awoke the slumbering troops of her father’s command
By rapping on doors with a stick in her hand.
“Wake up, you soldiers, you’re needed to fight,
Danbury needs defendin’, you must go there tonight.”

By dawn the next morning, her task was completed.
Drenched and exhausted, but never defeated.
Four hundred troops had arrived at the mill
All ready to march, their task now to fulfill.
And, the Redcoats retreated to their boats in the bay
Never to attempt another attack that way.

And, so, my children, another story is told
Of another midnight ride; so courageous and bold.
To villages and towns: A call to arms.
Over rivers and through woods and on fields to farms.
She’s more than just petticoats, when there’s work to be done;
This heroine of sixteen, named Sybil Ludington.