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The Charge of the Erma's Brigade

Author: anonymous

HALF A MILE, half a mile,
Half a mile onward,
Out of the valley of Ione
The group thundered.

"Forward, Erma's Brigade!
Charge for the hills," John mumbled:
Throughout the valley of Ione
John's voice grumbled.

"Forward, Erma's Brigade!"
Was any rider dismay'd?
Not a one would say
That he had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to ride or die:
So out of the town of Ione
Pedaled Erma's Brigade.

Hills to right of them,
Hills to left of them,
Ram's Horn ahead of them.
Jim volley'd and thunder'd;
Hurrying away from rain and hail,
Quickly they rode and well,
(Within the laws of Ione)
Into the mouth of Hell
The Erma's bikes trundled--
Flash'd all their spokes bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Saluting all canines there--
Then changing a flat, while
All the world wonder'd.

Plung'd in the fog and smoke
Right thro' the haze they broke;
Wheelmen and Bike Hikers
Reel'd from the spinning-spoke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back--
The exhausted Ione hunters.

Hills to right of them,
Hills to left of them,
Ram's Horn behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with rain and hail,
While bikes and hero fell,
They that had rode so well
(Within the laws of Ione)
Back from the mouth of Hell,
With all that was left in them:
Erma's Brigade.

When can their glory fade?
O, the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honor the charge they made!
Honor Erma's Brigade,
Noble half dozen (or so)!

A massacre of words by several anonymous authors after some famous poet's famous poem, but nobody remembers the original anymore, and all are trying to forget this one too. Feel free to offer suggestions, corrections, phrases, clauses, lines, or windshield wipers. Send them to: Chuckles, the brigage poet.