1 BEAT! beat! drums!â€”Blow! bugles! blow! Through the windowsâ€”through doorsâ€”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 quietâ€”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 drumsâ€”so shrill you bugles blow.
2 Beat! beat! drums!â€”Blow! bugles! blow! Over the traffic of citiesâ€”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 bargainersâ€™ bargains by dayâ€”no brokers or speculatorsâ€”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 before the judge? Then rattle quicker, heavier drumsâ€”you bugles wilder blow.
3 Beat! beat! drums!â€”Blow! bugles! blow! Make no parleyâ€”stop for no expostulation; Mind not the timidâ€”mind not the weeper or prayer; Mind not the old man beseeching the young man; Let not the childâ€™s voice be heard, nor the motherâ€™s entreaties; Make even the trestles to shake the dead, where they lie awaiting the hearses, So strong you thump, O terrible drumsâ€”so loud you bugles blow.