BETA

The Charge of
the Heavy Bridade at Balaclava.


I.

The charge of the gallant three hundred, the Heavy Brigade !—1
Down the hill, down the hill, thousands of Russians,2
Thousands of horsemen, drew to the valley—and stay’d ;3
For Scarlett and Scarlett’s three hundred were riding by4
When the points of the Russian lances broke in on the sky ;5
And he call’d “ Left wheel into line ! ” and they wheel’d and obey’d.6
Then he look’d at the host that had halted he knew not why,7
And he turn’d half round, and he had his trumpeter sound8
To the charge, and he rode on ahead, and he waved will never die9
Follow,” and up the hill, un the hill, up the hill,10
Follow’d the Heavy Brigade.11

II.

The trumpet, the gallop, the charge, and the might of the fight !—12
Down the hill, slowly, thousands of Russians13
Drew to the valley, and halted at last on the height,14
With a wing push’d out to the left, and a wing to the right15
But Scarlett was far on ahead, and he dash’d up alone16
Thro’ the great gray slope of men,17
And he wheel’d his sabre, he held his own18
Like an Englishman there and then ;19
And the three that were nearest him follow’d with force,20
Wedged themselves in between horse and horse,21
Fought for their lives in the narrow gap they had made,22
Four amid thousands ; and up the hill, up the hill23
Gallopt the gallant three hundred, the Heavy Brigade.24

III.

Fell like a cannonshot,25
Burst like a thunderbolt,26
Crash’d like a hurricane,27
Broke thro’ the mass from below,28
Drove thro’ the midst of the foe,29
Plunged up and down, to and fro,30
Rode flashing blow upon blow,31
Brave Inniskillens and Greys32
Whirling their sabres in circles of light !33
And some of us, all in amaze,34
Who were held for a while from the fight,35
And were only standing at gaze,36
When the dark-muffled Russian crowd37
Folded its wings from the left and the right,38
And roll’d them around like a cloud,—39
O mad for the charge and the battle were we,40
When our own good redcoats sank from sight,41
Like drops of blood in a dark-gray sea,42
And we turn’d to each other, muttering, all dismay’d,43
Lost are the gallant three hundred, the Heavy Brigade !44

IV.

But they rode like Victors and Lords45
Thro’ the forest of lances and swords46
In the heart of Russian hordes ;47
They rode, or they stood at bay48
Struck with the briddle-hand drew49
The foe from the saddle and threw50
Underfoot there in the fray51
Ranged like a storm or stood like a rock52
In the wave of a stormy day ;53
Till suddenly shock upon shock54
Stagger’d the mass from without,55
For our men gallopt up with a cheer and a shout,56
And the Russian surged, and waver’d, and reel’d57
Up the hill, up the hill, up the hill, out of the field,58
Over the brow and away.59
Glory to each and to all, and the charge that they made !60
Glory to all the three hundred, the Heavyy Brigade !61