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BEAT! BEAT! DRUMS!

1

BEAT! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Through the windows—through doors—burst like a
ruthless force,
Into the solemn church, and scatter the congregation;
Into the school where the scholar is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet—no happiness must he
have now with his bride;
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, plowing his field or
gathering his grain;
So fierce you whirr and pound, you drums—so shrill you
bugles blow.


2

Beat! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Over the traffic of cities—over the rumble of wheels in
the streets:
Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses?
No sleepers must sleep in those beds;
No bargainers' bargains by day—no brokers or specu-
lators—Would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt
to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case be-
fore the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums—you bugles wilder
blow.
12




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3

Beat! beat! drums!—Blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley—stop for no expostulation;
Mind not the timid—mind not the weeper or prayer;
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man;
Let not the child's voice be heard, nor the mother's en-
treaties;
Make even the trestles to shake the dead, where they
lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump, O terrible drums—so loud you
bugles blow.


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