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Beat! Beat! Drums! by Walt Whitman


"Beat! Beat! Drums!" is a poem written by Walt Whitman. This poem is about drums and bugles creating a lot of noise for all walks of life. In the first paragraph he tells the drums and bugles to make noise in schools, churches, and for the bridegroom. In the second he tells it to make noise for the cities, people sleeping, lawyers, and people talking. In the third, he tells it to make noise no matter what and where or even when people tell them to stop. This poem could be seen as Whitman telling you to be yourself. It could also be seen as a poem of bad habbits or even bad thoughts.

This poem is made up of three stanzas. There is not a particular rhyme structure. Each stanza begins with the same line. There's also no particular meter structure.


Beat! Beat! Drums!

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 is studying;
Leave not the bridegroom quiet--no happiness must he have now with
his bride;
Nor the peaceful farmer any peace, plowing his field or gathering his
So fierce you whirr and pound, you drums--so shrill you bugles blow.

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 they
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 trestles to shake the dead, where they lie awaiting the
So strong you thump, O terrible drums--so loud you bugles blow.

Next: By the Bivouac's Fitful Flame
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Literary Movement
19th Century


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