The War

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There is a sound of thunder afar,
  Storm in the South that darkens the day,
Storm of battle and thunder of war,
  Well, if it do not roll our way.
    Storm! storm! Riflemen form!
    Ready, be ready to meet the storm!
    Riflemen, riflemen, riflemen form!

Be not deaf to the sound that warns!
  Be not gull'd by despot's plea!
Are figs of thistles, or grapes of thorns?
  How should a despot set men free?
    Form! form! Riflemen form!
    Ready, be ready to meet the storm!
    Riflemen, riflemen, riflemen form!

Let your reforms for a moment go,
  Look to your butts and take good aims.
Better a rotten borough or so,
  Than a rotten fleet or city in flames!
    Form! form! Riflemen form!
    Ready, be ready to meet the storm!
    Riflemen, riflemen, riflemen form!

Form, be ready to do or die!
  Form in freedom's name and Queen's!
True, that we have a faithful ally,
  But only the devil knows what he means.
    Form! form! Riflemen form!
    Ready, be ready to meet the storm!
    Riflemen, riflemen, riflemen form!

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.