Six hundred stalwart warrlors, of England's pride the best,
Did grasp the lance and sabre on Balaclava's crest,
And with their trusty leader, Earl Cardigan the brave,
Dashed through the Ruasian valley to glory or a grave.
cho: Oh, 'tis a famous story, proclaim it far and wide,
And let your children's children re-echo it with pride;
How Cardigan the fearless his name immortal made
When he crossed the Russian valley with his famous light brigade.
Their foemen stood in thousands, a dark and awful mass,
Beneath their famous strongholds resolved to guard the pass,
Their guns with fierce defiance belched thunders up the vale,
Where sat our English horsemen firm beneath their iron gale.
When Nolan brought the order,'Great God, can it be true ?'
Cried Cardigen the fearless, 'and my brigade so few ?
To take these awful cannon from yonder teeming mass,
'Tis madness, sir. Where shall we charge? What guns bring from the pass?'
And they were but six hundred against two score thousand foes,
Hemmed in by furious cannon and crushed with savage blows,
Yet fought they there like heroes for our noble England's fame;
Oh, glorious charge, heroic deed, what glory crowns thy name!
Four hundred of those soldlers fell fighting where they stood,
And thus that fatal death vale they enriched with English blood;
Four hundred of those soldiers bequeathed their lives away
To the England they had fought for on that wild October day.
From Songs of the People, Henry
The Charge of the Light Brigade at the battle of Balaclave
occurred on Oct. 25, 1854. An obviously English song, collected
in Ireland, RG