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Charging an army, while

All the world wondered:

Plunged in the batt'ry 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.

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.

When can their glory fade?

Oh! the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.

Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,

Noble Six Hundred !



Corinth, a city famous in ancient times, is situated on the Gulf of Lepanto. The citadel is noted for its great height above the plain. The siege spoken of in the poem took place in 1715 A.D.

THE night is past, and shines the sun
As if that morn were a jocund one.
Lightly and brightly breaks away
The Morning from her mantle grey,
And the Noon will look on a sultry day.—

Hark to the trump and the drum,

And the mournful sound of the barbarous horn,

And the flap of the banners that flit as they're borne,
And the neigh of the steed and the multitude's hum,
And the clash, and the shout "They come ! they come!"
The horse-tails are plucked from the ground, and the sword
From its sheath; and they form and but wait for the word.
The steeds are all bridled, and snort to the rein;
Curved is each neck and flowing each mane;
White is the foam of their champ on the bit :-
The spears are uplifted; the matches are lit;
The cannon are pointed and ready to roar
And crush the wall they have crumbled before:-
Forms in his phalanx each Janizar,

Alp at their head; his right arm is bare,
So is the blade of his scimitar;

The Khan and the Pachas are all at their post;
The Vizier himself at the head of the host.
"When the culverin's signal is fired, then on!
Leave not in Corinth a living one-

A priest at her altars—a chief in her halls—
A hearth in her mansions-a stone on her walls.
Heaven and the Prophet-Alla Hu!

Up to the skies with that wild halloo !"
As the wolves that headlong go

On the stately buffalo,

Though with fiery eyes and angry roar,

And hoofs that stamp and horns that gore,

He tramples on earth, or tosses on high

The foremost who rush on his strength but to die ;

Thus against the wall they went,

Thus the first were backward bent :

Even as they fell, in files they lay,

Like the mower's grass at the close of day,

When his work is done on the levelled plain,—

Such was the fall of the foremost slain.

As the spring-tides with heavy plash,
From the cliffs invading dash

Huge fragments, sapped by the ceaseless flow,
Till white and thundering down they go-

Like the avalanche's snow

On the Alpine vales below

Thus at length, out-breathed and worn,
Corinth's sons were downward borne
By the long and oft-renewed

Charge of the Moslem multitude.

In firmness they stood and in masses they fell,
Heaped by the host of the Infidel,

Hand to hand and foot to foot:
Nothing there save death was mute;
Stroke and thrust, and flash and cry
For quarter or for victory.

From the point of encountering blade to the hilt
Sabres and swords with blood were gilt:-

But the rampart is won-and the spoil begun-
And all, but the after-carnage, done.
Shriller shrieks now mingling come
From within the plundered dome.
Hark, to the haste of flying feet,

That splash in the blood of the slippery street!



ALP wandered on along the beach,

Till within the range of a carbine's reach

Of the leaguered wall; but they saw him not,

Or how could he 'scape from the hostile shot?

Did traitors lurk in the Christians' hold?

Were their hands grown stiff, or their hearts waxed cold?

I know not, in sooth; but from yonder wall

There flashed no fire and there hissed no ball,

Though he stood beneath the bastion's frown

That flanked the sea-ward gate of the town;

Though he heard the sound, and could almost tell

The sullen words of the sentinel,

As his measured step on the stone below

Clanked, as he paced it to and fro :

And he saw the lean dogs beneath the wall

Hold o'er the dead their carnival,

Gorging and growling o'er carcass and limb;

They were too busy to bark at him!

From a Tartar's skull they had stripped the flesh,

As ye peel the fig when its fruit is fresh ;

And their white tusks crunched o'er the whiter skull,

As it slipped through their jaws when their edge grew dull, As they lazily mumbled the bones of the dead,

When they scarce could rise from the spot where they fed; So well had they broken a lingering fast

With those who had fallen for that night's repast.

And Alp knew, by the turbans that rolled on the sand,

The foremost of these were the best of his band.

The scalps were in the wild dog's maw,

The hair was tangled round his jaw.

But close by the shore, on the edge of the gulf,
There sat a vulture flapping a wolf,

Who had stolen from the hills, but kept away,
Scared by the dogs, from the human prey;
But he seized on his share of a steed that lay,
Pecked by the birds, on the sands of the bay!

Alp turned him from the sickening sight:
Never had shaken his nerves in fight;

But he better could brook to behold the dying,
Deep in the tide of their warm blood lying,
Scorched with the death-thirst, and writhing in vain,
Than the perishing dead who are past all pain.
-There is something of pride in the perilous hour,
Whate'er be the shape in which death may lour;
For Fame is there to say who bleeds,

And Honour's eye on daring deeds!

But when all is past, it is humbling to tread
O'er the weltering field of the tombless dead,

And see worms of the earth and fowls of the air,
Beasts of the forest, all gathering there,

All regarding man as their prey,

All rejoicing in his decay!



Appius Claudius, one of the Decemviri, had claimed, as his slave, Virginia, daughter of the plebeian Virginius; but the girl's father, wishing to save her from the ignominy which awaited her, and seeing no hope of redress by legal process, stabbed her in despair, as described in the lay. Icilius, the tribune, had been betrothed to the murdered maiden. The time is 449 B.C.

OVER the Alban mountains the light of morning broke; From all the roofs of the Seven Hills curled the thin wreaths of smoke:

The city gates were opened; the Forum, all alive

With buyers and with sellers, was humming like a hive: Blithely on brass and timber the craftsman's stroke was ringing,

And blithely o'er her panniers the market-girl was singing; And blithely young Virginia came smiling from her homeAh! woe for young Virginia, the sweetest maid in Rome. With her small tablets in her hand, and her satchel on her


Forth she went bounding to the school, nor dreamed of shame or harm.

She crossed the Forum shining with the stalls in alleys


And just had reached the very spot whereon I stand this day,

When up the varlet Marcus came; not such as when, ere


He crouched behind his patron's heels, with the true client


He came with lowering forehead, swollen features, and clenched fist,

And strode across Virginia's path, and caught her by the wrist.

Hard strove the frighted maiden, and screamed with look


And at her scream from right and left the folk came running


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