The Drums Beat On
Hear the battle roar and rage,
Hear the cannons flare,
Hear the shell-shrap splinters fly,
Through an empty air.
Together they fought, here they died,
Brothers, young and old;
Bound by common blood that spilled
‘Ore Flanders Fields untold.
There’s thousands standing on the ridge,
A hundred more behind,
Destined for a pauper’s grave,
That none the world will find.
Can you hear their desperate cries?
Can you hear the call?
Of those whose lamps went out before
They’d begun to live at all?
Hear the distant battle drums
Keeping perfect time!
Marching scores of youthful souls
To their predestined shrine.
What cause so grand, what stakes so high
Could reconcile their loss?
Could send the world their young to die
To lie ‘neath grass and moss?
Was it beautiful, fore spacious skies
And amber waves of grain,
That made bleed so many hearts
And drove men to that plain?
Or was it more, a chance at life
That sent men to their deaths,
That we might live in freedom’s wake
When all has gone and left?
Look to the flag, you men at arms!
Raise the Colors high!
And never doubt our gratitude
For those who willed to die.
We shall never forget the sacrifice,
We shall never forget the pain,
And though the fallen sleep in fields,
Their struggle was not in vain.
Their music has gone out of this world,
Their cries are faded with the dawn;
But though their voices sing no more,
The drums will still beat on.
Let freedom ring.