HALF a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver:
No more by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.
I come from haunts of coot and hern,
I make a sudden sally
And sparkle out among the fern,
To bicker down a valley.
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
All Things will Die
Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
'And ask ye why these sad tears stream?'
‘Te somnia nostra reducunt.’
Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
Home they brought her warrior dead:
She nor swooned, nor uttered cry:
All her maidens, watching, said,
‘She must weep or she will die.’