September 02, 2010

Charge of the Firemen

Prompt from Poetic Asides: respond to this statement - "I'm going to set the world on fire."

Half a mile, half a mile,
Half a mile onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six firemen.
'Forward, oh Station Nine!
Charge for the flames,' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six firemen.

‘Forward, oh Station Nine!'
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the fighters knew
Some one 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 firemen.

Flames to the right of them,
Flames to the left of them,
Flames in front of them
Dancing and advancing;
Storm'd at with heat of hell,
Boldly they fought and well,
Into the flames of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Went the six firemen.

Flash'd all their lanterns bright,
Held all their hoses tight,
Dousing the brightness there,
Squelching the volley while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the murd’ring smoke
Right thro' the flames they broke;
Watched as the world ignited
Reel'd from the reaching smoke
Scalded and stifled.
Most would turn back, but not
Not the six firemen.

Flames to right of them,
Flames to left of them,
Flames around them
Still ever advancing;
Storm'd at with heat of hell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Ran thro' the flames of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell,
Not one was left of them,
Left of six firemen.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild fight they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour old Station Nine,
Noble six firemen!

(inspired by & written in the vein of The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

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