Famous Inspirational Poem

The Charge Of The Light Brigade By Lord Alfred Tennyson

"Which guns?" they asked. Captain Nolan replied with a sweeping wave of his hand. Moments later the Light Brigade began to move. Six hundred men strong, they rode down the narrow valley in what has become a lesson taught to this very day in military academies worldwide about the importance of clear communication. The objective had been to hinder the retreat of the naval guns to the south of the battlefield. Instead, the Brigade was directed to a Russian position, which was a clear death trap. But though the orders were clearly suicidal, the men obeyed regardless and paid a heavy price. Almost half the Brigade was wiped out, and though little was accomplished strategically, the charge went down as one of the most glorious battles in British military history. News arrived in England, and while reading an account of the battle in the Times, Tennyson jotted down what has become perhaps his most famous poem.

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The Charge Of The Light Brigade

By Alfred Tennyson more Alfred Tennyson

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 dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd.
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
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' 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 wonder'd.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Listen to a dramatic reading of "The Charge of the Light Brigade"

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