Prelude

BY sunny market-place and street
Wherever I go my drum I beat,
And wherever I go in my coat of red
The ribbons flutter about my head.

I seek recruits for wars to come -
For slaughterless wars I beat the drum,
And the shilling I give to each new ally
Is hope to live and courage to die.

I know that new recruits shall come
Wherever I beat the sounding drum,
Till the roar of the march by country and town
Shall shake the tottering Dagons down.

For I was objectless as they
And loitering idly day by day;
But whenever I heard the recruiters come,
I left my all to follow the drum.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was a Scottish novelist, poet, essayist, and travel writer. more…

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"Prelude" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 6 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/31660/prelude>.

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