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.