Theirs no to reason why, Theirs but to do and die.

Today is the birthday of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (August 6, 1809-October 6 1892).  He held the position of Poet Laureate of Great Britain and Ireland for a record forty-two years, from 1850 until his death in 1892. 

In 1833 the passing of his dear friend and fellow poet Arthur Henry Hallam prompted him to write In Memoriam A.H.H.  Tennyson wrote the poem over the course of seventeen years, and from it come the lines 

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
         I feel it, when I sorrow most;
         ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
 
Tennyson also wrote ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade‘, a poem commemorating a failed charge of British Light Cavalry against heavily entrenched Russian forces during the Crimean War in 1854.  It is from this poem that we received the well known couplet ‘Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die‘.

 
 
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