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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). The Rough Riders. 1899.

Epigram by Bret Harte

  • HARK! I hear the tramp of thousands,
  • And of armed men the hum;
  • Lo! a nation’s hosts have gathered
  • Round the quick-alarming drum—
  • Saying, “Come,
  • Freemen, come!
  • Ere your heritage be wasted,” said the quick-alarming drum.
  • “Let me of my heart take counsel:
  • War is not of Life the sum;
  • Who shall stay and reap the harvest
  • When the autumn days shall come?”
  • But the drum
  • Echoed, “Come!
  • Death shall reap the braver harvest,” said the solemn-sounding drum.
  • “But when won the coming battle,
  • What of profit springs therefrom?
  • What if conquest, subjugation,
  • Even greater ills become?”
  • But the drum
  • Answered, “Come!
  • You must do the sum to prove it,” said the Yankee-answering drum.