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Struthers Burt: To a Friend Wanting War

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

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Struthers Burt
To a Friend Wanting War

I trust that when the bugles blow,
And the little drums beat, the little drums beat,
You’ll hear no single sound of them,
Nor any sound of marching feet;
The pulsing drums and the bugles shrill
Stir a heart against its will.

There should not be a flag for you,
When the little drums beat, the little drums beat,
But you should find a murdered man
With his blood all black about his feet;
And though you’d never heard his name,
They’d hold you screaming out with shame.

There would not be another sound,
No little drum’s beat, no little drum’s beat,
Till silence like a rising hell
Had cut your voice at your feet,
Leaving you dumb eternally
To think on death’s monotony.

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