Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
   Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
   Rode the six hundred.
Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
   All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
   Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
   Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
   Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
   All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
   Noble six hundred!
Copied from Poems of Alfred Tennyson, J. E. Tilton and Company, Boston, 1870

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON. Image source: Google

The Charge of the Light Brigade ​

The charge of the Light Brigade is a narrative poem written by Tennyson in 1854, to pay his tribute to the British soldiers who died in the Crimean War. The poem tells the story of a brigade consisting of 600 soldiers who rode on horseback into the “valley of death” for half a league. They were obeying a command to charge at the army forces that had been seizing their guns. Not a single soldier was discouraged or distressed by the command to charge forward, even though all the soldiers realized that their commander had made a terrible mistake. The role of the soldier is to obey and so they followed orders and rode into the midst of the Cossack army. The 600 soldiers were assaulted by the shots of shells of canons in front and on both sides. Still, they rode courageously forward, toward their own deaths. The soldiers struck the enemy gunners with their unsheathed swords and charged at the enemy while the rest of the world looked on in wonder. They rode into the artillery smoke and broke through the enemy line, destroying the Cossack and Russian opponents. Then they rode back from the offensive, but they had lost many men. Canons behind and on both sides of the soldiers now pounded them with shots and shells. As the brigade rode, soldiers and horses collapsed; only a few remained to make the journey back. The world marveled at the courage of the soldiers. Indeed, their glory is immortal.

Image Source: Google