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Paul Revere's Ride

Paul Revere's Ride


by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Churchyard

Symbol Analysis

This is the graveyard around the Old North Church. Like the church itself, it gets a surprising amount of attention in the poem. It almost spins off into its own little plot, a sort of mini ghost story within the larger poem.

  • Lines 43-48: This description of the graveyard compares it to a camp full of sleeping soldiers. Since it goes on for several lines, we call this an extended metaphor. By making even dead people seem ready to fight a war, Longfellow increases the tension in the early parts of the poem.
  • Line 66: The churchyard makes one more appearance here. The link between the church tower and the dead people around it is strengthened, and this adds to the spooky, frightening feeling that's such an important part of the poem. It also predicts the deaths that will occur later, at the battles of Lexington and Concord.

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