The Midnight Ride of Sarah Palin
(with apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
Listen my children and you shall be hailing
The midnight ride of Sarah Palin,
On the second of June, in ought-eleven;
Hardly a man was not stunned.
Who remembers that famous day and year?
She said to her friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Ring the bells aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal loud and bright,
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and pit,
For the country folk to welcome the Brits."
Then she said "Good-night!" and with unmuffled motor
Loudly bussed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
Murdoch’s yacht, ready to slip away;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By Palin’s stark reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, her friends through blogs and tweeters
Donated and worshipped, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around her she hears
The muster of Palinbots at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the Breitbartiers,
Marching down to their fellow dolts on the shore.
Then she climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round her made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where she paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all,
She screamed, “I can see Redcoats from here,
Lamestream media – disappear!”
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That they could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
That screeching voice, from death they did dread,
Creeping along in agonizing ascent,
And seeming to shout, "All is Hell!
And it’s Obama’s death knell.
This moment only he feels the spell
As I target him with my yell.”
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all her thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,--
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats:
Dead politicians, floating downstream.
Their careers blown, as in a pipedream.
She shuddered at that fearsome image,
And tweeted “refudiate Obamacareage.”
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Sarah Palin.
Now she patted her daughter’s side,
As she gazed at the landscape far and wide,
Telling Piper, “Go bug the news people
While I take the silverware from the steeple.”
Then, impetuous, stamping with ire,
And turned and sharpened her bus’s tires;
But mostly she watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the FOX News Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as she looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
She springs to the driver’s seat, the ignition key she turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns:
“You can keep your job with us Sarah,
As long as attention to you isn’t a chimera.”
A burning of rubber in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a bus flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
She thought, “the fate of a nation i riding this night;”
And the spark struck out by that coach, in its flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
She has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath her, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is Romney’s campaign HQ by the road’s side;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the rumble of the bus as she rides.
Right through the Romney offices, wood, glass, paper and PCs
Spread far and wide.
It was twelve by the village clock
When she crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
She pulled over, tweeting in delight:
“I’m rewriting the rules in this fight.”
It was one by the village clock,
When she galloped into Lexington.
She saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as she passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at her with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
“Where’s Putin? – she asks, eyes of red,
“WTF?” they reply their consternation unsaid.
It was two by the village clock,
When she came to the bridge in Concord town.
She heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by Palin’s malicious gall.
You know the rest. In the books she hasn’t read
How the reporters fired and fled,
Concerned about declining ad revenues with dread.
How “real Americans “gave her a close call,
From behind each fence and high-tech firm wall,
Chasing Palin down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and reload.
So through the night rode Sarah Palin;
And so through the night went her bus, escapin’.
To every Middlesex village and farm,
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore:
“Leave us alone, you selfish bitch!
Stop driving everyone along the road into the ditch.
Go back to Arizona and run against John Kyle -
Let Arizonans suffer your bile.”
Borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The sound of Palin’s bus crashing from her greed.
And the midnight message of Sarah Palin:
“It’s all about me, so let not the truth be near.”