When can their glory fade?
O, the wild charge they made.
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!
BY JAMES WILLIAMS.
The fierce wild charge was over;
back to old England’s shore
Were borne her gallant troopers, who ne’er would battle more;
In hospital at Chatham, by Medway’s banks they lay,
Dragoon, hussar, and lancer, survivors of the fray.
One day there came a message—’twas
like a golden ray—
“Victoria, Britain’s noble Queen, will visit you to-day;”
It lighted up each visage, it acted like a spell,
On Britain’s wounded heroes, who’d fought for her so well.
One soldier lay among them, fast
fading was his life,
A lancer from the border, from the good old county Fife;
Already was death’s icy grasp upon his honest brow,
When through the ward was passed the word, “The Queen is coming
The dying Scottish laddie, with
hand raised to his head,
Saluted Britain’s Sovereign, and with an effort said—
“And may it please your Majesty, I’m noo aboot to dee,
I’d like to rest wi’ mither, beneath the auld raugh tree.
“But weel I ken, your Majesty,
it canna, mauna be,
Yet, God be thanked, I might hae slept wi’ ithers o’er the sea,
’Neath Balaclava’s crimsoned sward, where many a comrade fell,
But now I’ll rest on Medway’s bank, in sound of Christian bell.”
She held a bouquet in her hand,
and from it then she chose
For the dying soldier laddie a lovely snow-white rose;
And when the lad they buried, clasped in his hand was seen
The simple little snowy flower, the gift of Britain’s Queen.
(November 5, 1854.)
BY GERALD MASSEY.
‘Twas midnight ere our guns’ loud laugh
at their wild work did cease, And by the smouldering
fires of war we lit the pipe of peace. At four
a burst of bells went up through Night’s cathedral
dark, It seemed so like our Sabbath chimes, we could
but wake, and hark! So like the bells that call
to prayer in the dear land far away; Their music floated
on the air, and kissed us—to betray.
Our camp lay on the rainy hill, all silent as a cloud,
Its very heart of life stood still i’ the mist
that brought its
For Death was walking in the dark, and smiled his smile to see How all was ranged and ready for a sumptuous jubilee.