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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Drum
By Friedrich Rückert (1788–1866)
 
Translation of Charles Timothy Brooks

OH, the drum—it rattles so loud!
  When it calls me with its rattle
  To the battle—to the battle—
    Sounds that once so charmed my ear
    I no longer now can hear;        5
      They are all an empty hum,
        For the drum—
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!
 
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!
  At the door with tearful eye,        10
  Father, mother, to me cry;—
    Father! mother! shut the door!
    I can hear you now no more!
      Ye might as well be dumb,
        For the drum—        15
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!
 
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!
  At the corner of the street,
  Where so oft we used to meet,
    Stands my bride, and cries, “Ah, woe!        20
    My bridegroom, wilt thou go?”
      Dearest bride, the hour is come!
        For the drum—
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!
 
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!        25
  My brother in the fight
  Bids a last, a long good-night;
    And the guns, with knell on knell,
    Their tale of warning tell;—
      But my ear to that is numb,        30
        For the drum—
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!
 
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!
  There’s no such stirring sound
  Is heard the wide world round        35
    As the drum that with its rattle
    Echoes Freedom’s call to battle!
      I fear no martyrdom
        While the drum—
Oh, the drum—it rattles so loud!        40
 
 
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