Early Works of Karl Marx: Book of Verse

Man and Drum

A Fable

A Drum it is no Man, and a Man he is no Drum,
The Drum is very clever, and the Man is very dumb.

The Drum is tied with straps, but the Man is on his own,
And the Drum sits firm when the Man falls down.

The angry Man he beats it, and the Drum goes bippety-bop,
Yes, the merry Drum it rattles, and the Man goes hippety-hop.

And then the Man pulls faces, and the Drum it laughs at him,
And the Man shouts up and down the house and makes an awful din.

"Hey, Drum, he, Drum, why laugh so mockingly?
You take me for a fool and you stick out your tongue at me!

"Damn you, Drum, you shame me, you jeer and you deride!
Why d'you rattle when I beat, why d'you hang where you were tied?

"You think I raised you from a tree into a Drum full-grown
To carry on like that as if you'd done it on your own?

"You shall dance when I beat, you shall beat when I sing,
You shall cry when I laugh, you shall laugh when I spring."

The Man scowls at the Drum all in a sudden furious bout,
He bangs and bangs and bangs it till its blood comes gushing out

So the Drum it has no Man, and the Man he has no Drum,
And the Man takes holy orders for a friar to become.