On This Day

December 9, 1854 – The Examiner prints Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” which commemorates the courage of 600 British soldiers charging a heavily defended position during the Battle of Balaklava, in the Crimea, just six weeks earlier.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

I
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. 

II
“Forward, the Light Brigade!” 
Was there a man dismayed? 
Not though the soldier knew 
   Someone had blundered. 
   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. 

III
Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon in front of them 
   Volleyed and thundered; 
Stormed at with shot and shell, 
Boldly they rode and well, 
Into the jaws of Death, 
Into the mouth of hell 
   Rode the six hundred. 

IV
Flashed all their sabres bare, 
Flashed as they turned in air 
Sabring the gunners there, 
Charging an army, while 
   All the world wondered. 
Plunged in the battery-smoke 
Right through the line they broke; 
Cossack and Russian 
Reeled from the sabre stroke 
   Shattered and sundered. 
Then they rode back, but not 
   Not the six hundred. 

V
Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon behind them 
   Volleyed and thundered; 
Stormed at with shot and shell, 
While horse and hero fell. 
They that had fought so well 
Came through the jaws of Death, 
Back from the mouth of hell, 
All that was left of them, 
   Left of six hundred. 

VI
When can their glory fade? 
O the wild charge they made! 
   All the world wondered. 
Honour the charge they made! 
Honour the Light Brigade, 
   Noble six hundred!

No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not work those who who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

On This Day

August 6, 1809 – Alfred Lord Tennyson is born in Somersby, Lincolnshire, England.

“Come, my friends.
‘T is not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are,—
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

CROSSING THE BAR

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

– Lord Alfred Tennyson