Notes on the text
Notes by Alastair Wilson and John McGivering, also drawing on the ORG
Here, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowling,and so on for two more verses. Kipling’s reference here is to the last line but one – 'Faithful below, he did his duty'.
The darling of our crew;
No more he'll hear the tempest howling,
For death has broach'd him to.
His form was of the manliest beauty,
His heart was kind and soft;
Faithful below, he did his duty,
And now he's gone aloft...
And east till doubling Rother crawlsa Poole schooner a coastal trading-vessel from Poole, a seaport in Dorset some 120 miles (192 km.) to the westward.
To meet the fickle tide.
Here’s to beefsteak when you’re hungry,ORG believed it was an American ballad – Irish emigrants may well have taken it with them to the United States.
Whiskey when you’re dry,
All the women you’ll ever want,
And heaven when you die.
It was change of the morning watch in Hades—the hour when, despite all precaution, fires die down, pressures drop, and the merciless dynamos that have been torturing poor souls all night slack a few revolutions, ere they picked up again for the long day's load.stern-first talkin’ probably a variation of the slang “talking out of the back of his neck”, ie talking nonsense.
Men of Harlech, march to glory,ostrich eggs laid in hot sand to incubate.
Victory is hov'ring o'er ye,
Bright-eyed freedom stands before ye,
Hear ye not her call?
Build on the flanks of Etna where the sullen smoke-puffs float -‘ung at Lewes the county town of East Sussex with a gaol where executions took place
Or bathe in tropic waters where the lean fin dogs the boat -
Cock the gun that is not loaded, cook the frozen dynamite -
But oh, beware my Country, when my Country grows polite!
Forward, the Light Brigade!"See also Kiplings verses The Last of the Light Brigade".
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone 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 hundred.
The boy stood on the burning deckThe poem recounted the true(ish) tale of the teen-age son of the French Commodore on board Admiral Bruey’s flagship L’Orient at the battle of the Nile (1798), who stayed at his post, and was killed when her magazine exploded.
Whence all but he had fled…
Ye shall not clear by Greekly speech, nor cozen from your pathIt matters not if the beach is verdant (green) or any other colour: it is still a dangerous position to be in.
The twinkling shoal, the leeward beach, or Hadria's white-lipped wrath;