Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

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Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

#1  Postby Weaver » Dec 21, 2012 10:32 pm

By Rudyard Kipling.

Last of the Light Brigade

There were thirty million English who talked of England's might,
There were twenty broken troopers who lacked a bed for the night.
They had neither food nor money, they had neither service nor trade;
They were only shiftless soldiers, the last of the Light Brigade.

They felt that life was fleeting; they knew not that art was long,
That though they were dying of famine, they lived in deathless song.
They asked for a little money to keep the wolf from the door;
And the thirty million English sent twenty pounds and four!

They laid their heads together that were scarred and lined and grey;
Keen were the Russian sabres, but want was keener than they;
And an old Troop-Sergeant muttered, "Let us go to the man who writes
The things on Balaclava the kiddies at school recites."

They went without bands or colours, a regiment ten-file strong,
To look for the Master-singer who had crowned them all in his song;
And, waiting his servant's order, by the garden gate they stayed,
A desolate little cluster, the last of the Light Brigade.

They strove to stand to attention, to straighten the toil-bowed back;
They drilled on an empty stomach, the loose-knit files fell slack;
With stooping of weary shoulders, in garments tattered and frayed,
They shambled into his presence, the last of the Light Brigade.

The old Troop-Sergeant was spokesman, and "Beggin' your pardon," he said,
"You wrote o' the Light Brigade, sir. Here's all that isn't dead.
An' it's all come true what you wrote, sir, regardin' the mouth of hell;
For we're all of us nigh to the workhouse, an, we thought we'd call an' tell.

"No, thank you, we don't want food, sir; but couldn't you take an' write
A sort of 'to be continued' and 'see next page' o' the fight?
We think that someone has blundered, an' couldn't you tell 'em how?
You wrote we were heroes once, sir. Please, write we are starving now."

The poor little army departed, limping and lean and forlorn.
And the heart of the Master-singer grew hot with "the scorn of scorn."
And he wrote for them wonderful verses that swept the land like flame,
Till the fatted souls of the English were scourged with the thing called Shame.

O thirty million English that babble of England's might,
Behold there are twenty heroes who lack their food to-night;
Our children's children are lisping to "honour the charge they made-"
And we leave to the streets and the workhouse the charge of the Light Brigade!
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Re: Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

#2  Postby 95Theses » Dec 21, 2012 10:57 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gK6TWpPY52g[/youtube]
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts - Bertrand Russel

Quoting yourself in your own signature is both narcissistic and plain weird - 95Theses
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Re: Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

#3  Postby amok » Feb 03, 2013 7:16 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxPsRx_rP7o[/youtube]
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Re: Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

#4  Postby pensioner » Feb 03, 2013 8:34 pm

Another good one from the same guy.

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!
There’s class warfare, all right,” said US billionaire Warren Buffett a few years ago, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.
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Re: Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

#5  Postby ramseyoptom » Feb 03, 2013 8:46 pm

And should be sent to every politician.


However this has to be heard:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkqUq26z1CE[/youtube]


The Charge of the Light Brigade read by Alfred Lord Tennyson
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
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Re: Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

#6  Postby Doubtdispelled » Feb 03, 2013 8:50 pm

And here's the words, which I have known well since I was little.....

The Charge of the Light Brigade

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone 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
Reel'd 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;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' 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?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

― Mark Twain
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Re: Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

#7  Postby kiore » Feb 03, 2013 9:03 pm

pensioner wrote:Another good one from the same guy.



Thanks for that Pen.. I think this true of any age reminds me of Arthur Wellesley's (also called the Duke of Wellington) quote:

Speaking about soldiers in the British Army, 4 November 1831
A French army is composed very differently from ours. The conscription calls out a share of every class — no matter whether your son or my son — all must march; but our friends — I may say it in this room — are the very scum of the earth. People talk of their enlisting from their fine military feeling — all stuff — no such thing. Some of our men enlist from having got bastard children — some for minor offences — many more for drink; but you can hardly conceive such a set brought together, and it really is wonderful that we should have made them the fine fellows they are.


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Re: Kipling's "Last of the Light Brigade"

#8  Postby don't get me started » Feb 05, 2014 1:25 pm

I remember a scene from the film 'Waterloo' with Christopher Plummer as Wellington.
On reviewing his soldiers marching up he (Wellington) quips...
" I don't know if they frighten the French, but by God, they frighten me."
Classic moment.

On the theme of the soldiery after the battle I remember asking my dad what he got for winning the war.
In my youthful ignorance, I fondly imagined my dad had personally gone into the bunker, and punched Hitler into unconsciousness.

He answered in laconic style.
"What did I get for winnin' the war son? That's a good question. I'll tell ye. (Dramatic pause) I got a packet of crisps.
I was very disappointed. ( dramatic pause ) They were plain. I was hoping for salt and vinegar. (Pause) The bloody officers got cheese and onion."
Ha ha.
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