As an abolitionist, nineteenth-century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow certainly hung out with a Republican crowd. Still, he might be surprised that the wake of the Massachusetts GOP victory, Scott Brown supporters have repurposed his poem "Paul Revere's Ride" in the Weekly Standard to honor the occasion.

How does it compare to the original? Longfellow's famously irregular meter is difficult to imitate. Still, there's something missing in the gap between Longfellow's "One if by land, and two if by sea/And I on the opposite shore shall be," and the anonymous author's, "Martha Coakley will try her luck;/But I will turn to my trusty truck."

Yet perhaps readers shouldn't be too critical. As Longfellow scholar Matthew Gartner writes, the poet strove to be an accessible, popular poet. What better tribute than a modern adaptation? English fanatics should also note the anonymous author is an industrious imitator--his second draft of the adaptation is an improvement on his first, which begins "Listen my children and you shall hear/Of the midnight ride of Scott Brown."

Compare for yourself. Longfellow first:

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
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 farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."


Then The Weekly Standard:
Listen my children to a feat of renown--
The midnight ride of Scott P. Brown.
On the nineteenth of January, in Twenty-Ten,
Hardly a man will forget just when
Obamacare came crashing down.

Scott said to his friend, "If Senator Kennedy dies,
I'll fight for his seat--for the people's seat.
I'll ask my fellow Bay Staters to rise
And the liberal establishment to defeat.
Martha Coakley will try her luck;
But I will turn to my trusty truck,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."