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The Charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava Analysis

Author: Poetry of Alfred, Lord Tennyson Type: Poetry Views: 244

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The charge of the gallant three hundred, the Heavy


Down the hill, down the hill, thousands of Russians,

Thousands of horsemen, drew to the valley ? and


For Scarlett and Scarlett's three hundred were riding by

When the points of the Russian lances arose in the sky;

And he called ?Left wheel into line!? and they wheeled

and obeyed.

Then he looked at the host that had halted he knew

not why,

And he turned half round and he bad his trumpeter


To the charge, and he rode on ahead, as he waved

his blade

To the gallant three hundred those glory will never


?Follow,? and up the hill, up the hill, up the hill,

Followed the Heavy Brigade.


The trumpet, the gallop, the charge, and the might

of the fight!

Thousands of horsemen had gathered there on the


With a wing pushed out to the left, and a wing to the


And who shall escape if they close? but he dashed up


Through the great gray slope of men,

Swayed his sabre, and held his own

Like an Englishman there and then;

All in a moment followed with force

Three that were next in their fiery course,

Fought for their lives in the narrow gap they had made?

Four amid thousands! and up the hill, up the hill,

Galloped the gallant three hundred, the Heavy Brigade.


Fell like a cannonshot,

Burst like a thunderbolt,

Crashed like a hurricane .

Broke through the mass from below,

Drove through the midst of the foe,

Plunged up and down, to and foe

Rode flashing blow upon blow,

Brave Inniskillens and Greys

Whirling their sabres in circles of light!

And some of us, all in amaze,

Who were held for a while from the fight,

And were only standing at gaze,

When the dark-muffled Russian crowd

Folded its wings from the left and the right,

And rolled them around like a cloud,?

O mad for the charge and the battle were we,

When our own good redcoats sank from sight,

Like drops of blood in a dark-gray sea,

And we turned to each other, whispering, whispering,

all dismayed,

?Lost are the gallant three hundred of Scarlett?s



?Lost one and all? were the words

Muttered in our dismay;

But they rode like Victors and Lords

Through the forest of lances and swords

In the heart of the Russian hordes,

They rode or they stood at bay?

Struck with the sword-hand and slew,

Down with the bridle-hand drew

The foe from the saddle and threw

Underfoot there in the fray?

Ranged like a storm or stood like a rock

In the wave of a stormy day;

Till suddenly shock upon shock

Staggered the mass from without,

Drove it in wild disarray,

For our men gallopt up with a cheer and a shout,

And the foeman surged, and wavered, and reeled

Up the hill, up the hill, up the hill, out of the field,

And over the brow and away.


Glory to each and to all, and the charge that they made!

Glory to all the three hundred, and to all the Brigade!


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