See "Madison protests joined by…Jesse Jackson?".
With apologies to Thomas Buchanan Read:
Up from the guv'nor, at break of day,
Bringing to Washington fresh dismay,
The affrighted air with a shudder bore,
Like a herald in haste to the chieftain's door,
The terrible grumble, and rumble, and roar,
Telling the battle was on once more,
And Jackson a thousand miles away.
And wider still those billows of war
Thundered along the horizon's bar;
And louder yet into Washington rolled
The roar of that red sea uncontrolled,
Making the blood of the listener cold,
As he thought of the stake in that fiery fray,
With Jackson a thousand miles away.
But there is a road from D.C. town,
A good, broad highway leading down:
And there, through the flush of the morning light,
A steed as black as the steeds of night
Was seen to pass, as with eagle flight;
As if he knew the terrible need,
He stretched away with his utmost speed.
Hills rose and fell, but his heart was gay,
With Jackson five hundred miles away.
Still sprang from those swift hoofs, thundering west,
The dust like smoke from the cannon's blast,
Or the trail of a comet, sweeping faster and faster,
Foreboding to traitors the doom of disaster.
The heart of the steed and the heart of the master
Were beating like prisoners assaulting their walls,
Impatient to be where the battle-field calls;
Every nerve of the charger was strained to full play,
With Jackson only ten miles away.
Under his spurning feet, the road
Like an arrowy Alpine river flowed,
And the landscape sped away behind
Like an ocean flying before the wind;
And the steed, like a barque fed with furnace ire,
Swept on, with his wild eye full of fire;
But, lo! he is nearing his heart's desire;
He is snuffing the smoke of the roaring fray,
With Jackson only five miles away.
The first that the activist saw were the groups
Of stragglers, and then the retreating troops;
What was to be done? what to do?--a glance told him both.
Then striking his spurs with a terrible oath,
He dashed down the line, 'mid a storm of hurrahs,
And the wave of retreat checked its course there, because
The sight of the master compelled it to pause.
With foam and with dust the black charger was gray;
By the flash of his eye, and his red nostril's play,
He seemed to the whole great union to say:
"I have brought you Jackson all the way
From Washington to save the day."
Hurrah! hurrah for Jackson!
Hurrah! hurrah for horse and man!
And when their statues are placed on high
Under the dome of the Madison sky,
The statists' glorious Temple of Fame,
There, with the glorious activist's name,
Be it said, in letters both bold and bright:
"Here is the steed that saved the day
By carrying Jackson into the fight,
From Washington--a thousand miles away!"
Jesse Jackson is on site. All will be well.
* Sincere apologies for the use of the words "gay," "man," and "master" in the construction of this ode to old, irrelevant has-been civil rights activists. The original author of "Sheridan's Ride" was obviously a racist, sexist, homophobe.