"The Charge of the Light Brigade" was a poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a British poet who lived in the 19th century.
Just prior to entering battle during Operation Return against overwhelming Dominion and Cardassian forces, Miles O'Brien and Julian Bashir quoted a stanza of this poem. The quote had particular significance because the 600 Starfleet ships were in danger of being outflanked and surrounded by the larger Dominion fleet. (DS9: "Sacrifice of Angels")
- Cannon to right of them,
- Cannon to left of them,
- Cannon in front of them
- Volley'd and thunder'd;
- Storm'd at with shot and shell,
- Boldly they rode and well,
- Into the jaws of Death,
- Into the mouth of Hell
- Rode the six hundred.
The Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 134) described the poem as the "
telling of heroism during a hopeless battle
in ancient Earth history."