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The Charge of the Light Brigade

Revised in celebration of current global strategic management initiatives (Part #1)


Prepared at a time of an exceptional crisis of crises:
energy, water, food, shelter, health, unemployment, climate, banking, confidence, drugs, etc
-- accompanied by continuing unchecked cycles of violence and rumours of possible nuclear war.


Orginal version (1854) by
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
in response to the Crimean War
Adapted version (2008) by
Alpha Lore Terrason
in response to the War on Terra
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.
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode Fortune's 500.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge those for change!" we said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the five hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there anyone dismay'd?
Not tho' many did know
Someone had blunder'd:
Their's not to make reply,
Their's not to reason why,
Their's but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the five 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.

Plotting to right of them,
Plotting to left of them,
Plotting in front of them
Imagine'd and monger'd;
Storm'd at with claim and blame,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the five 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.

Flash'd all their savoir faire,
Flash'd as they spun the air,
Denying alternates there,
Charging emergence, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in industrial smoke
Right thro' constraint they broke;
Terraist suspects
Reel'd from their savage stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the five 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.

Alternates to right of them,
Alternates to left of them,
Alternates behind them
Imagine'd and monger'd;
Storm'd at with claim and blame,
While faune and flora 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 five hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble five hundred.

Questions usefully arise from the adaptation due to possible connotations of the alternative expressions used
and their implication for the significance of those that remain unchanged. For example:
Is the "Light Brigade" charging, being charged by "others" -- or with what and by whom is it "charged"?
Is it an initiative of the "forces of light"?
Or simply one to be characterized as strategically "light weight" -- a "Charge of the Lite Brigade" ?
Are the "alternatives" challenging as characteristic of "others" (mutants) -- "natives" of strange places?

Are "Fortune's 500" to be understood as: the Fortune 500, key world governance institutions, key participants in plenary world assemblies, academic luminaries, leading cultural creatives, spiritual leaders, the wealthy of the Forbes 400 (or other such), some more secretive leadership group -- or none of the above?

Note also: David Long, The Charge of the Lite Brigade: the EU in Afghanistan, Commentary, October 2008


Note that Tennyson much later wrote a less widely known "heavy" poem,
The Charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava (1882),
with regard to another charge on the same day under different leadership in the same battle.
By contrast, this records the success of a similarly heroic "three hundred" using a highly unconventional strategy.
This clearly offers the possibility of other adaptations and reflections, especially its insightful epilogue.

The Charge of the Heavy Brigade at Balaclava (1882)
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
(Extracts from the Epilogue)

I would that wars should cease,
I would the globe from end to end
Might sow and reap in peace,
And some new Spirit o'erbear the old,
Or Trade re-frain the Powers....
.
But since our mortal shadow, Ill,
To waste this earth began-
Perchance from some abuse of Will
In worlds before the man....
.
And tho', in this lean age forlorn,
Too many a voice may cry
That man can have no after-morn
Not yet of those am I.
.
And here the Singer for his art
Not all in vain may plead
'The song that nerves a nation's heart
Is in itself a deed.'

---

Inspired by the originals, further reflection is evoked by a poem written
by Rudyard Kipling entitled The Last of the Light Brigade (1891).

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