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1     Half a league, half a league,
2         Half a league onward,
3     All in the valley of Death
4         Rode the six hundred.
5     `Forward, the Light Brigade!
6     Charge for the guns!' he said:
7     Into the valley of Death
8         Rode the six hundred.


9     `Forward, the Light Brigade!'
10   Was there a man dismay'd?
11   Not tho' the soldier knew
12       Some one had blunder'd:
13   Their's not to make reply,
14   Their's not to reason why,
15   Their's but to do and die:
16   Into the valley of Death
17       Rode the six hundred.


18   Cannon to right of them,
19   Cannon to left of them,
20   Cannon in front of them
21       Volley'd and thunder'd;
22   Storm'd at with shot and shell,
23   Boldly they rode and well,
24   Into the jaws of Death,
25   Into the mouth of Hell
26       Rode the six hundred.


27   Flash'd all their sabres bare,
28   Flash'd as they turn'd in air
29   Sabring the gunners there,
30   Charging an army, while
31       All the world wonder'd:
32   Plunged in the battery-smoke
33   Right thro' the line they broke;
34   Cossack and Russian
35   Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
36       Shatter'd and sunder'd.
37   Then they rode back, but not
38       Not the six hundred.


39   Cannon to right of them,
40   Cannon to left of them,
41   Cannon behind them
42       Volley'd and thunder'd;
43   Storm'd at with shot and shell,
44   While horse and hero fell,
45   They that had fought so well
46   Came thro' the jaws of Death,
47   Back from the mouth of Hell,
48   All that was left of them,
49       Left of six hundred.


50   When can their glory fade?
51   O the wild charge they made!
52       All the world wonder'd.
53   Honour the charge they made!
54   Honour the Light Brigade,
55       Noble six hundred!


Composition Date:
Author's note: "This poem (written at Farringford, and published in The Examiner, Dec. 9, 1854) was written after reading the first report of the Times correspondent, where only 607 sabres are mentioned as having taken part in this charge (Oct. 25, 1854). Drayton's Agincourt was not in my mind; my poem is dactylic, and founded on the phrase, "Some one had blundered."

At the request of Lady Franklin I distributed copies among our soldiers in the Crimea and the hospital at Scutari. The charge lasted only twenty-five minutes. I have heard that one of the men, with the blood streaming from his leg, as he was riding by his officer, said, `Those d--d heavies will never chaff us again,' and fell down dead." (p. 369).