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Monday, October 25, 2010

The Charge of the Light Brigade and my anniversary

Technically I forgot my anniversary. It is very hard for me to actually forget the date as it coincides with the date of the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade against the Russians at Balaclava during the Crimean war.
I suppose kids don't learn about such things in school anymore. I doubt I learned about it in school. Someone used to recite the poem and I learned part of it as a kid.
The combination of these two evens, the Charge of the Light Brigade and my marriage seem quite humorous to me. While I could never remember the two events separately, I can easily remember the two when they are associated.
I was eating lunch at 3:30 after a rather hectic morning. There is a broken hydraulic line behind the fuel tank on my planting tractor which means I have to remove the fuel tank which I just filled with diesel and it was a bit of a chore. Plus, I spent three hours cleaning all the mud off the grain drill. So, my lovely wife inquires as to if we are going out for dinner tonight. I said, no because this is the 24th and our anniversary is tomorrow.
Apparently today is the 25th.
It turned out that the Amity Cafe was closed anyway so I helped her install floor tile. I am in fact a hopeless romantic.

The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

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
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & 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 & 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 & Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & 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 & 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 wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!


  1. Haven't seen that for a long time. Thanks for printing it.

  2. Happy anniversary! Somehow we were done planting on the day we got married, 10/9/04. Never have been done on our anniversary since, though.

  3. Gorges, In this day and age I suppose the poem is a bit subversive. Was the charge an example of British honor and discipline or suicidal? I guess it has nothing to do with, can't we all just get a long and heather has two daddys and the rest of modern social engineering in school...
    Orin, There are a lot of farmer anniversaries in October! So Happy Anniversary to you as well. We were going to take off for last weekend but now I plant whenever possible so perhaps next weekend. I think we work harder for less money every year.

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  5. Budde, my Dad used to quote the opening lines from that poem. Likely recalled from his days in the little Balrobie country school house.
    Like you I sometimes am not sure what day it is when I get too wrapped up in this farming business. Unlike you I have no lovely wife to remind me though. So congratulations on another anniversary.


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