From Leaves of Grass
, by Walt Whitman
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
Leave not the bridegroom
quiet - no happiness must he have now with
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, ploughing his field or gathering
So fierce you whirr and pound you drum
s - so shrill you bugle
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 speculators-would
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing
Would the lawyer
rise in the court to state his case before the
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums-you bugles wilder blow.
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 entreaties,
Make even the trestle
s to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the
So strong you thump O terrible drums - so loud you bugles blow.