British Foreign Policy 1815-65

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The Charge of the Light Brigade: another poem

Six hundred stalwart warriors of England’s pride the best,
Did grasp the lance and sabre on Balaclava’s crest,
And, with their trusty leader, Earl Cardigan the brave,
Dashed through the Russian valley to glory or a grave.
Their foeman stood in thousands, a dark and awful mass,
Beneath their famous strongholds resolved to guard the pass
Their guns with fierce defiance belched thunders up the vale,
Where sat our English horsemen firm beneath the iron gale.

Oh! ‘tis a famous story, proclaim it far and wide,
And let your children’s children re-echo it with pride,
How Cardigan the fearless, his name immortal made,
When he crossed that Russian valley with the famous Light Brigade.

Brave Nolan brought the order, good God can it be true,
Cried Cardigan the fearless, and my Brigade so few,
To take those awful cannon from under teeming mass,
‘Tis madness sir, where shall we charge - what guns bring from the pass?
The messenger with hauteur looked once at the brave Earl,
Then pointing to the enemy, his lip began to curl.
There, there, my lord, there are your guns and there your foemen too,
Then turned his charger’s head away, and bade the Earl adieu.

And they were but six hundred, ‘gainst two score thousand foes,
Hemmed in with furious cannon, and crushed with savage blows.
Yet fought they there like heroes, for our noble England’s fame,
Oh glorious charge! Heroic deed! What honour crowns thy name.
Four hundred of those soldiers fell, fighting where they stood,
And thus that fatal death vale they enriched with English blood.
Four hundred of those soldiers bequeathed their lives away,
To the England they had fought for on that wild October day.

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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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