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[54] “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 harvests,” said the solemn sounding drum.

“But when won the coming battle,
     What of profit springs therefrom?
What if conquests — subjugation--
     Even greater ills become?”
But the drum
     Answered, “Come!
You must do the sum to prove it,” said the Yankee-answering drum.

“What if, 'mid the cannon's thunder,
     Whistling shot and bursting bomb,
When my brothers fall around me,
     Should my heart grow cold and numb?”
But the drum
     Answered, “Come
Better there in death united, than in life a recreant — come!”

Thus they answered — hoping, fearing--
     Some in faith, and doubting some,
Till a trumpet-voice, proclaiming,
     Said, “My chosen people, come!”
Then the drum,
     Lo! was dumb,
For the great heart of the Nation, throbbing, answered, “Lord! we come!”

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