Regulator Field

To lie down in that Regulator Field
in which age would you have it?
Pyrrhic, citizen, pyrrhic revolt.
As the Quakers would have it, nothing might come.

I will leave my field untilled in 1768
to drag my plow through the face of Hillsborough’s court
and I will be stretching that hemp in ’71
’til my neck snaps the sinews of tyrants
and pops the vertebrae with a violent reprieve

To lie down in that Regulator Field
Pyrrhic, neighbor, pyrrhic defiance.
As the Tories would have it, nothing might come.

Think back to then with the Overmountain Men
at Sycamore Shoals, and Cornwallis and his Hessians left
the gristly old Guilford Mill when
Brer Rabbit Greene and the emancipating Pole’s boats
slipped silently back and forth on Indian winds

To lie down in that Regulator Field
Pyrrhic, Alamance, pyrrhic creek,
As the waters would have it, what’s bled might wash out completely.

And on the land already so hallowed
I will take a potshot or two in ’81
because you will have nowhere to hide.
Then in 1865 bivouacked in the mud
the possum laughs at the Confederate gallows crew

To lie down in that Regulator Field
Pyrrhic, southerner, pyrrhic chattel
As the planters would have it, nothing might come.

Do you want to lie down in that Regulator Field?
Do you want to bear down upon the gates of the rural Bastille?
Do you want these dead yeomen as comrades for the Republic Eternal,
or do you dream of something already at hand?
A misspelled monument? A frozen dinner from Food Lion?

To lie down in that Regulator Field
Pyrrhic, Liberty, pyrrhic Eternity
As the human would have it, nothing might come.

So they rest, they rage.
In divine rage, in divine rest.
They rest in divine rage,
rage in divine rest.
In that Regulator Field on the road to Alamance.

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