Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
You know the rest. In the books you have read,
- That's about it for the actual ride.
- Now the narrator breaks in and talks straight to us like he did at the beginning. He is thinking that we know the rest of the story, so he will only give us a few details of the battle the next day.
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farm-yard wall,
Chasing the red-coats 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 load.
- This is the basic patriotic story of the beginning of the Revolution.
- The farmers shoot, the British Regulars (the soldiers, or "redcoats") shoot back then flee. It's a big win for the farmers, who manage to chase the British out of their fields and villages.
- This chunk of the poem is designed to zip us through the battle story and probably also to make us feel a little bit of good-old American pride.