A Dream Of Liberty

Sean McCarthy

One night as the wind whispered eerie tales
And the stars danced to and fro
I dreamt of the land where my forefathers trod
In those times of long ago
In Boston Harbour I saw brave men
And I watched with youthful pride
When they scattered the tea in a tax-laden sea
To a dark and an angry tide

I wondered then as I watched these men
Who flouted King George’s might
Would redcoat hordes with their glittering swords
Wreck vengeance in the night
Then a voice rang out in the starry air
Stand fast young man be brave
Far better to die ‘neath an open sky
Than live like a cowering slave

That early dawn of that April morn
I stood on a mountain tall
And felt the shock of the musket shot
That started first freedoms call
My spirits soared as its thunder roared
I prayed to the blazing sky
To bless the hand of the gallant band
Who carried our banner high

In that shifting scene of my wandering dream
I rode fast to Bennington town
General Stark and his Green Mountain Boys
Were camped on the dewy ground
I gazed for a while and I saw his sad smile
Then he softly said to me
Their young blood will stain this Vermont plain
Before our land is free

I remember that smile as I rode each mile
In my heart a dreadful chill
The blood and the sweat and the smell of death
Rising high over Bunker Hill
The men and the boys with their sightless eyes
Who lay dead before their time
When they broke the chain of King George’s reign
In a place they call Brandywine

Then clear upon a cold night air
I heard a suffering cry
A ragged band of hungry men
Were slowly shuffling by
Across the valley grim and bare
I heard the bugle blow
The bloody beat of their torn feet
Staining the virgin snow

In the shivering scene of my nightmare dream
A tall man spoke to me
He looked grey and old in the crippling cold
But his eyes were bright and clear
He said “Listen well, then you must tell
Of these deeds these men have done
And future days will sing their praise
From dawn ’til the setting sun”

Tell them of Saratoga
Where the patriots fought and died
Of Valley Forge of Paul Revere
Who made that midnight ride
Of Cowpens and Kings Mountain
Don’t let them soon forget
Or Patrick Henry’s immortal words
”Give me liberty or death”

Remember Swamp Fox Marion
Who led that wily band
Of Allen, Greene and Sumter
Who made a noble stand
Remember too the mothers true
Who cried their tears alone
Their names will be told with the brave and the bold
Where e’er our flag is flown

He left me then but I saw him again
Standing tall near Yorktown Bay
I saw Cornwallis surrender his sword
On that bleak October day
Then the tall man turned and he said to me
Young man our fight has just begun
Like a flashing scene I awoke from my dream
And I cried in my silent room

On my way to school I felt like a fool
As my childish tears did flow
The things I had seen were all in a dream
You see they’d happened long ago
Then I cast my eye to a building high
Where the flag was floating free
And I smiled to the sun for the men who had won
A nation for you and me