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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1793.9
The Drum
"Mr. Scott"
[John Scott][1]
The Cambridge Intelligencer (August 3, 1793)[2]

By the Late Mr. Scott, the Quaker.

I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace and glitt'ring arms;
And when Ambition's voice commands,
To fight and fall in foreign lands.

I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To me it talks of ravaged plains,
And burning towns and ruin'd swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widow's tears, and orphans moans,
And all that Misery's hand bestows,
To fill a catalogue of woes.

    When we read the above lines, we cannot help breathing forth this ardent prayer—Oh that all the world were, in some respects at least,—Quakers!


Notes

1. John Scott (1730-1783) was a noted poet of the day.

2. This poem appeared initially as Ode XIII in John Scott's Poetical Works (1782), p. 201. It was widely reprinted; for example, it appeared in the Biographical and Imperial Magazine, IV (August, 1790), p. 132. See Lawrence D. Stewart, John Scott of Amwell (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1956), p. 218 for a discussion of the poem's popularity.

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