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50

“Soft thy skin as silken skein,
Soft as woman's hair thy mane,

Tender are thine eyes and true;
All thy hoofs like ivory shine,
Polished bright; O life. of mine,

Leap, and rescue Kurroglou !”
Ryrat, then, the strong and fleet,
Drew together his four white feet,

Paused a moment on the verge,
Measured with his eye the space,
And into the air's embrace

Leaped as leaps the ocean surge.
As the ocean surge o’er sand
Bears a swimmer safe to land,

Kyrat safe his rider bore;
Rattling down the deep abyss
Fragments of the precipice

Rolled like pebbles on a shore.

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HELPS TO STUDY

Notes and Questions What does the first stanza tell? | State in your own words the The second ?

thought in the eleventh stanza. What is the purpose of the fifth In next to the last stanza give the stanza?

meaning of the last three lines. What comparison is found in the What lesson of heroism does this

seventh stanza? In the eighth poem give you? In the ninth ?

Whom should you call the hero of What do we mean by "figure of this tale? speech?" Illustrate.

Who is Allah? Where is Koor

distan?

"phantom" “verge"

Words and Phrases for Discussion
"caravan

garden-girt
"abyss”

"cataract

THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE AT BALAKLAVA

ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON
Half a league, half a league,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns !” he said:

Rode the six hundred.

The Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava

23

“Forward, the Light Brigade !”
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho’ the soldier knew

Some one had blunder'd:
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.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them

Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell

Rode the six hundred.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while

All the world wonder'd;
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeld from the sabre-stroke

Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not,

Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them

Volley'd and thunder'd;
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.
Honor the charge they made !
Honor the Light Brigade,

Noble six hundred !

HELPS TO STUDY

Biographical and Historical: Alfred Tennyson was born in that memorable birth year, 1809, which brought into the world a company of the greatest men of the century, including Darwin, Gladstone, Lincoln, Poe, Chopin, and Mendelssohn. He was one of twelve children who lived together a healthful life of study and sport. Gathering the other children about him he held them captive with his stories of knightly deeds—tales drawn partly from his reading and partly from his fertile fancy. They lived again the thrilling life of joust and tournament. Past the house in the village of Somersby, in Lincolnshire, where his father was rector, flowed a brook, in all probability the brook that came “from baunts of coot and hern ... to bicker down a valley." He was a student at Cambridge, where he met and became deeply attached to Arthur Henry Hallam, whose death not long afterward inspired the poem “In Memoriam.” In 1850, upon Wordsworth's death, Tennyson was made poet laureate and the poem commemorating the heroic charge at Balaklava in 1854, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” shows how he adorned this office. In 1884 the queen raised him to the peerage, and from that time he was known as Lord Tennyson. He lived as much in retirement as was possible, part of the time making his home in the Isle of Wight. He died in 1892 and was buried in the Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

The event which this poem describes occurred at Balaklava in the Crimea, October 25th, 1854. Of six hundred seven men only about one hundred fifty survived. The order to charge, bearing the signature of Lord Lucan, was delivered by Captain Nolan to the Earl of Cardigan, who was in command of the “Light Brigade.” Nolan was killed in the charge while Cardigan survived. The death of Nolan made it impossible to determine whether the signature to the order was genuine or forged.

It was in this war that Florence Nightingale rendered such noble service as hospital nurse. She arrived at Balaklava ten days after this

charge.

Notes and Questions On your map find Balaklava on the What is meant by "charging an Black Sea.

army''? What nation attacked the Rus. | Who had “blundered??? sians ?

What lines tell you that obedience What was the significance of is the first duty of the soldier ? Sevastopol ?

What line tells you how vain and What is a brigade? A light bri hopeless was this charge? gade?

How does the poem impress you? Words and Phrases for Discussion “Valley of Death" "half a league” “the mouth of Hell” "the jaws of Death" "dismay'd”

"volley'd and thunder'd”

THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN

WILLIAM COWPER

John Gilpin was a citizen

Of credit and renown,
À trainband captain eke was he

Of famous London town.
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,

“Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen.

“Tomorrow is our wedding day,

And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,

All in a chaise and pair.

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