Retort on Mordaunt's "The Call"
(also known as "The Drum")

I HATE that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To thoughtless youth it pleasure yields,
And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace, and glittering arms;
And when Ambition's voice commands,
To march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.

I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round;
To me it talks of ravag'd plains,
And burning towns, and ruin'd swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widows' tears, and orphans' moans;
And all that Misery's hand bestows,
To fill the catalogue of human woes.

John Scott of Amwell
  (1793)

 

John Scott of Amwell (1730-1793) was a Quaker and a friend of Samuel Johnson. John Scott wrote this poem beginning each verse with 'I hate the drum's discordant sound', in response to a war poem "The Call" by his contemporary Thomas Osbert Mordaunt. - Mary Dobbing, Bromley

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