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the dark masses of Russians. The shock was but for a moment. There was a clash of steel and a light play of sword-blades in the air, and then the Greys and the red-coats disappear in the midst of the shaken and quivering columns.
23. In another moment we see them emerging” and dashing on with diminished numbers, and in broken order, against the second line, which is advancing against them as fast as it can to retrieve 13 the fortune of the charge. It was a terrible moment. “God help them ! they are lost !” was the exclamation of more than one man, and the thought of many. With unabated fire the noble hearts dashed at
. It was a fight of heroes. 24. The first line of Russians, which had been smashed utterly by our charge, and bad fled off at one flank and towards the centre, were coming back to swallow up our handful of men. By sheer steel and sheer courage. Enniskillener and Scot were winning their desperate way right through the enemy's squadrons, and already grey horses and red coats had appeared right at the rear of the second mass, when, with irresistible 14 force, like one bolt from a bow, the 1st Royals, the 4th Dragoon Guards, and the 5th Dragoon Guards rushed at the remnants 15 of the first line of the enemy, went through it as though it were made of pasteboard, and, dashing on the second body of Russians, as they were still disordered by the terrible assault of the Greys and their companions, put them to utter rout.
25. This Russian horse, in less than five minutes after it met our dragoons, was flying with all its speed before a force certainly not half its strength. A cheer burst from every lip; in the enthusiasm, officers and men took off their caps and shouted with delight; and thus keeping up the same character of their position, they clapped their hands again and again.
1 Balaclava, a town and harbour on ally composed of Algerians or
the Black Sea, a few miles south Turcos. of Sebastopol.
8 Trossachs, the name given to the 2 Tchernaya, a small river near district in the vicinity of Loch Balaclava.
Katrine, in Scotland. . Impregnable, could not be taken. 9 Despised, thought little of. 4 Formidable, strong, powerful. 10 Insignificant, small, not worth 5 Canrobert, one of the marshals troubling about.
of France, and leader at the 11 Annihilate, to destroy utterly.
lost. 6 Lord Raglan was commander-in- 14 Irresistible, not to be withstood
chief of the British forces at the or resisted.
15 Remnants, remains.
THE ROAD TO THE TRENCHES.
Deadly road to deadly toil, thickly strewn
with dead ! Noonday sun and midnight oil light the soldier's
tread. “ In the trenches deep and cold, if I cannot savę England's glory, be it told, there I dug my
grave! Faint the hero's voice and low-marching
through the snow. Leave me, comrades ! here I drop; on, my
captain, on! All are wanted, none should stop; duty must
be done. Those whose guard you take will find me, as
they pass, below.” So the soldier spoke, and staggering, fell amid
the snow; While ever, on the dreary heights, down came
the snow. “Men, it must be as he asks ; duty must be
done; Far too few for half our tasks, we can spare
not one; Wrap him in this—I need it less, soon the
guard shall know; Mark the place—yon stunted larch. Forward !”
On they go And silent, on their silent march, down sank
the snow. O'er his features, as he lies, calms the wrench
Close, faint eyes ; pass, cruel skies, freezing Passing into home-born dreams; there, amid
mountain plain ; With far soft sounds the stillness teems, church
bells, voices low;
And dark’ning, thick’ning, o'er the heights,
down fell the snow.
Looking, looking for the mark, now his com
rades came; Struggling through the snow-drifts stark, call
ing out his name; Here? or there ?—the drifts are deep. Have
we passed him? No! Look, a little growing heap ; snow above the
snow; Where heavy, in his heavy sleep, down fell the
Strong hands raised him, voices strong spoke
within his ears; But his dreams had softer tongue; neither now
he hears. One more gone for England's sake, where so
many go; Lying down without complaint, dying in the
Starving, striving for her sake, dying in the
Daily toil, untended pain, danger ever by ;
to die! Simply done your soldier's part, through long All endured with soldier-heart; battle, famine,
months of woe,
snow ! Noble, nameless, patriot heart; snow-cold in
THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT
1. After their repulse' in the plain of Balaclava by the Highlanders, two deep,—"that thin red streak topped by a line of steel,”—and by the heavy brigade, the Russian cavalry retired. Their infantry at the same time fell back towards the head of the valley, leaving men in three of the redoubts? they had taken, and abandoning the fourth. They had also placed some guns on the heights over their position on the left of the gorge.
2. Their cavalry joined the reserves, and drew up in six solid divisions, in an oblique line, across the entrance to the gorge. Six battalions of infantry were placed behind them, and about thirty guns were drawn up along their line, while masses of infantry were also collected on the hills behind the redoubts on our right. Our cavalry had moved up to the ridge across the valley on our left, and had halted there, as the ground was broken in front.
And now occurred * the melancholy catastrophe which fills us all with sorrow. It