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The Charge Of The Light Brigade

from True Stories Of Wonderful Deeds





Forward the Light!

Such was the order given during a great battle to the leader of a band
of six hundred British soldiers. Forward! And there in front was a line
of cannon ready to shoot them down as they came, while on the hills on
either side of the valley were the guns and riflemen of the Russians.

"Surely someone has blundered! My men are sent to certain death,"
thought the leader of the Light Brigade.

"Forward! Attack!"

The order was repeated, and with the obedience of well-trained soldiers
the Brigade started.

"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."

On every side thundered the enemy's guns, and shot and shell fell thick
and fast, but on through all rode the brave horsemen, on till they
reached the cannon at the end of the valley. The smoke of the enemy's
fire closed round and hid them from their watching comrades, but now and
again the scarlet lines could be seen cutting down those who tried to
stop their charge.

"Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd."



And then only, when the strange order had been obeyed, when their duty
had been nobly done in the face of death, did the Light Brigade--all
that was left of it--turn to ride back. Alas! there were not then six
hundred. Barely two hundred brave men, wounded, and blackened by smoke
and powder, reached the British camp. The rest of the noble band lay
dead or dying in the valley of Death.

"When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!"





Next: The Coronation Of King Edward Vii

Previous: The Battle Of Waterloo



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