Posted by Victoria S Dennis on October 19, 2005
In Reply to: It is not ours to wonder why posted by Smokey Stover on October 19, 2005
: : : : What's the origin of the phrase "It is not ours to wonder why, it is only ours to do... and die" and who's quote is it?
: : : Is this what you had in mind?
: : : Forward, the Light Brigade!'
: : : Was there a man dismay'd?
: : : Not tho' the soldier knew
: : : Some one had blunder'd:
: : : Their's not to make reply,
: : : Their's not to reason why,
: : : Their's but to do and die:
: : : Into the valley of Death
: : : Rode the six hundred.
: : : Second stanza of The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Alfred Lord Tennyson, about an awkward incident in the Crimean War. SS
: : One tiny change:
: : Theirs not to reason why,
: : Theirs but to do and die:
: Careless, careless, Smokey. I copied the text from a Googled source without checking it, an invitation to error. My bad. SS
Actually the Google source was correct: "their's" is exactly what Tennyson wrote. The rules for use of the apostrophe have changed since the 1850s! (VSD)