Thursday, September 16, 2021

"The Ride of Sybil Ludington" by the Future Poet Laureate Maci Nichols from Enid, Oklahoma (USA)

Future Poet Laureate Maci Nichols
Every so often you come across a teenager who elevates your belief that the future of the United States of America is bright. This week, I read a poem written by 14-year-old Maci Nichols of Enid, Oklahoma. 

Maci has been homeschooled her entire school career by her parents, Matt and Kayla Nichols. Maci works part-time at Kristi's Kitchen and volunteers at her church's food pantry. She is active in her church's youth group and is great friends with the adult women in her mother's Life group. Maci is also a pianist, taking lessons regularly to become a classical pianist. 

In addition to writing and playing the piano, Maci enjoys outdoor adventures (camping, backpacking, spending time on her grandparents’ farms, etc..) and drawing. Maci is the oldest of 3 siblings and her siblings love their older sister!

Maci is a devoted Christian and gave her life to Christ at the tender age of 9. She is a lover of liberty, a defender of truth, and is utterly unshakeable in her convictions. Her mother, a woman of conviction as well, says of Maci:

"Maci's writing terrifies me at times. I don’t know what to do with it. I don’t understand it at all.  I love it; I can’t comprehend it. We’ve always been a family who reads aloud, and only well-written books at that. We’ve read poetry to Maci since she was an infant. We all enjoy it immensely! We don’t teach formal writing in our homeschool until 9th grade.  Yes, you read that right. In fact, she began her first online writing class today. Up until this point, all she has done is read the best “real” books we can find on each subject and write a short, daily essay retelling the passage. No formula. No thesaurus. No five paragraphs of undeniable stupidity.

The method is seemingly working okay. My other two kids write well for their age. Maci, though, is different. She doesn’t only write her assigned essay; she writes in her free time. From the age of 9, Maci's been composing poems that rival "The Ride of Sybil Lubington." Maci has bits of paper and notebooks all around her room where she catalogs every inspiring idea that crosses her mind and every beautiful new word or turn of phrase that she falls in love with. She refuses to write poetry from assignments. It must be inspired.  I’ve asked her before how in the world she does this. Her response is basically that she doesn’t “do” it. She waits for it to come to her, and when it does, she writes it down – as if this is the most natural, normal thing in the world.  

You will be hearing from Maci Nicols in the years to come!

Sybil Ludington, the subject of this poem by Maci Nicols, is the most heroic person of the Revolutionary War, a woman whom most Americans are unfamiliar with.

Sybil was a heroine of the American Revolutionary War. On April 26, 1777, the 16-year-old daughter of a colonel in the Colonial Militia, Henry Ludington, made an all-night horseback ride to alert militia forces in the neighboring towns of what is today's Putnam County, New York of the burning of Danbury, Connecticut by British forces.

Sybil Ludington rode her horse 40 miles through the night in Putnam County, New York, to warn approximately 400 militiamen under her father's command that British troops were planning to raid Danbury, where the Continental Army had a supply depot. Ludington was said to have warned people asleep in their homes by banging on their shutters with a stick and yelling "The British are burning 

She used a stick to prod her horse and knock on doors. She returned home soaked with rain and exhausted, but most of the 400 soldiers were ready to march. The American militia arrived too late to save Danbury, but they were able to drive General William Tryon and his men to Long Island Sound. Ludington was congratulated for her heroism by friends and neighbors and also by General George Washington

In 1935, New York State erected a number of historic markers along Ludington's route. A commemorative statue sculpted by Anna Hyatt Huntington was erected near Carmel, New York, in 1961. Smaller versions of the statue were erected on the grounds of the Daughters of the American Revolution headquarters in Washington, D.C., on the grounds of the public library in Danbury, Connecticut, and in the Elliot and Rosemary Offner museum at Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.[23] In 1975, Ludington was honored with a postage stamp in the "Contributors to the Cause" United States Bicentennial series.

The Sybil Ludington 50k Run has been held in Carmel, New York each April since 1979, a 50-kilometer (31 miles) foot race. The course of the race approximates her historic ride and finishes near her statue on the shore of Lake Gleneida

Have you never heard of Sybil Ludington? 

Allow future poet laureate, Maci Nicols, to introduce you to Sybil. . It's because of people like Maci Nicols that I have hope in the future of our great country Maci is a modern Sybil.

The Ride of Sybil Ludington

By Maci Nichols


On a cold, dark night in seventy-seven

When a faint light glowed ‘round the frame of heaven,

When the breath of the wind waged war on the rain

And the battle betwixt them was fought in vain,

Then out of the darkness there came a sound

Like a distant, rhythmic drumming.

A sound which echoed the stormy night

And taunted the winds and the sky;

The sound of a rider who rode in spite

For Liberty willing to die.


With courage Ludington handled the reins

Despite the storm, the fear, the pain.

All through the night Sybil Ludington rode.

Her cry of defiance continually flowed.

Her eyes with valor and bravery glowed.

Ludington’s warning echoed the night;

The sound of a rider who rode in spite.

Her horse’s hooves like thunder rung,

Like the thrum of a distant beating drum.


Her name no less than Paul Revere’s;

Her task no less than vital.

Yet fame, it faded with the years

As did the reins and bridle.

In the hour of peril the people shall hear

The hurrying hoofbeats of Paul Revere.

But listen closely in hour of need

For those hoofbeats are backed by another steed.

Not the soul of one, but two, go riding,

Daring the wind and the rain.

Two souls in tandem riding, riding –

Riding in Liberty’s name!


Sybil Ludington's Ride


Christiane said...

WADE, I enjoyed reading what Maci's mother said, this:

"She refuses to write poetry from assignments. It must be inspired. I’ve asked her before how in the world she does this. Her response is basically that she doesn’t “do” it. She waits for it to come to her, and when it does, she writes it down – as if this is the most natural, normal thing in the world."

It is remarkable that so young a person could discover this. In the 'Tidewater Writing Project' to which I belonged; we presented ways in which to help teachers 'teach' creative writing, and our motto was "Magic will occur, if allowed".

Maci, no doubt, through her inspired writing has come to recognize her own 'golden lines' which stand out to her, and to those who read them.

Good to see a parent who allows the creative process to flourish in a young person's writing..... I wish for this young author the very best future possible.

Ruth said...

What a gifted young person. I agree; we will be hearing about her in the future.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Psalm 9.19-20 says this about nations:

19 Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail;
let the nations be judged before you!
20 Put them in fear, O Lord!
Let the nations know that they are but men!

So go ahead and love your nation and the people within it. But remember that your nation is but men.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rex Ray said...


This is a great story and poem about something that happened hundreds of years ago.

I’d like to tell what blew my mind. Today, my daughter, Beth, put on Facebook a picture her husband had taken with a drone years ago. It’s a picture of my slide and saying one of the sights to see in Texas.

I couldn’t understand what Beth’s cellphone was doing. She told me it was like a computer, and was recording hits and responses of people.

When she left, her phone had 1,000 hits and 222 responses.

Rex Ray said...

Dad told Hez the story of Monika 20 years after it happened while they were laying on the ground behind a slab of concrete to keep from being hit by Indian bullets. Hez had organized moving a World War II aircraft hangar to Fairbanks, Alaska.

A Bonham, Texas newspaper; The Leader, has a publication of 15,000 and is mailed to 7 towns. I paid them $325 to print the story of Monika which took a whole page. It had a picture of our dad. The last lines:

“Dad and Hez are buried at Carson, Cemetery, a few miles from Bonham, Texas. Paid by Rex Ray.

If you’d like to see the beautiful hangar in existence today, Google:
“Big Dipper Fairbanks, Alaska”

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

7 Anti-vax Conservative radio hosts have died of Covid.

Rex Ray said...


You asked what I thought about Nichols’s poem. On Sept. 16, I wrote: “This is a great story and poem about something that happened hundreds of years ago.”

I think this comment section is ‘magic’. I mean the number of comments were 13, went to 0, and now it’s 8.

BTW, I’m surprised you haven’t said anything about getting on Google and writing: Big Dipper Fairbanks, Alaska.

“Big Dipper Fairbanks, Alaska”

Rex Ray said...


Once, the governor of Alaska said he’d do something if Hez would promise not to enter politics. Hez assured him he wasn’t interested in politics.

Hez was so well known and liked, the governor knew he’d lose his job to Hez.

RB Kuter said...

So, why "Paul Revere" and no "Sybil Lubington" in our history lessons and celebrity?

Perhaps Maci will be the one who brings the spotlight upon another awesome patriot.

RB Kuter said...

Been busy the past several days.

Wife, Cooky, came into the dining area from the patio where I was grilling hamburgers Thursday, got caught up on the blinds on the French door, stumbled, and broke her left hip. Knew immediately she had broken her hip because she had broken her right hip on a freak fall when we lived in Thailand 10 years ago. A hip fracture is a VERY painful thing.

Here are the miracles:
-911/Emergency arrived within 15 minutes
-Took her to hospital 15 minutes away
-Surgeon showed up within an hour
-In 2 more hours she was in surgery for full hip replacement
-She was out of surgery in 2 hours and had very little pain
-Next morning they had her up and walking with help of a "walker"
-That afternoon they released her and she came home is doing GREAT!

God's hand was involved throughout. Surgeon was considering going home and letting someone else do the surgery but said, "I'll do this one more before quitting today."

Surgery went perfect due to God's guiding and involvement.

God is GREAT!

Sideline: When she broke hip in Thailand it took 4 hours to get to the hospital.
Had a great surgeon there but used a different method than that used this time.
She could not put ANY weight on that leg for 6 weeks/ 3 months before walking without cane.

Still, God worked for us there too.

RB Kuter said...

One small "COVID" note:
Cooky and I recovered from Covid two weeks ago.
She still tested positive when she went into the hospital. Medical people have told us people test "positive" for COVID as much as 3 months after having no symptoms.
They call patients like Cooky, "Covid-recovered"
Still, they put on on the isolated COVID floor and even I could not be with her.
Medical people had to put on hazard suits and masks every time they entered her room, throw them away when exiting and put new ones on prior to entering next patient's room!
Had Cooky had some death-causing situation they would have listed her as having died from COVID!

Strange days. BUT our God is still in control and in business of taking care of us.
To GOD be the glory!

Scott Shaver said...

How many liberal talk show hosts have died?

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

No progressive/liberal talk show hosts have died of Covid - they have been vaccinated.

Scott Shaver said...

Not that you are aware of nor willing to admit.

Scott Shaver said...

My wife was not vaccinated when she contracted COVID. Doing fine. My daughter was not vaxxed when she contracted COVID. Doing fine. My son in law, same story.

So the mention of conservative talk show hosts is more political than public service in nature. I understand that Australia is the current reigning world champ in COVID paranoia and government overreach under the guise of “public health”.

Not a good barometer of reality by any stretch.

Rex Ray said...

Scott Shaver,

I won’t mention how many times you duplicated your same comment.

At the end of everyone’s comment is a small trashcan symbol that no one else can see. If a person wants to delete what they wrote, they can click on that symbol and their comment will disappear.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

Scott Shaver,

Covid Deaths per million people:

USA: 2075

Australia: 45

Wade Burleson said...

Neil Cameron,

The USA government has exaggerated Covid-19 death numbers by as much as 50% in some states. Full Measure Investigative Reporters just broadcast their findings tonight on television stations around the USA.

I don't know what makes people lie about Covid deaths, but it's documented.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

"by as much as 50%"

Wow. So the deaths per million should be adjusted to:

USA: 1037.5

Australia: 45

Scott Shaver said...

Rex: I can count and apologize. Your “trash can” symbol does not appear on this iPhone screen.

Scott Shaver said...


It is appointed to man once to die. Stats mean nothing to me in the COVID realm.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...


Be submissive to rulers and authorities, be obedient, be ready for every good work, speak evil of no one, avoid quarreling, be gentle, and show perfect courtesy toward all people

Wade Burleson said...


Yes. Lying is a big deal. It speaks of an agenda. The agenda is a takeover of the world by an oppressive governmental regime. Folks in America have better sense than to give in to the narrative.

Scott Shaver said...

Took the words straight from me mouth Doc. Quick ain’t ye? ;)

Scott Shaver said...

Especially the biblically and historically disjointed narratives I would add.

Scott Shaver said...

Thanks for getting my duplicates cleared Rex Ray. I will find the button/function eventually

Scott Shaver said...

USA 2075

Score of the Gold Medal game of the Olympics basketball tournament as far as stats surrounding COVID religio-politics carry weight with me mate.

Scott Shaver said...


Satan is capable of transforming himself into an angel of light so that, were it possible, even the elect might be deceived.

How’s that for an equally stained glass response to your exhortation?

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