With apologies to Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

The charge of the city council

Half a mile, half a mile,

Half a mile onward,

All in the Valley of Water

rode the city council.

“Forward , the city council!

Charge for the water!” they said:

Into the Valley of Water

Rode the city council.

“Forward, the city council!”

Was there a person dismayed?

Not tho’ the councilors knew

Someone had blundered:

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die:

Into the Valley of Water,

Rode the city council

Critics to the right of them,

Critics to the left of them,

Critics in front of them

Volleyed and thunder’d;

Storm’d at with shot and shell,

Boldly they decided and well,

Into the jaws of votes,

Into the mouth of Sell,

Rode the city council

Flashed all their charts bare,

Flashed as they turned in air,

Sab’ring the critics there,

Charging an army, while

All the city wondered:

Plunged in the figures smoke,

Right through the numbers they broke;

Friend and foe,

Reeled from the numbers — stroke

Shattered and sundered.

Then they rode back, but not —-

Not the city council.

Critics to the right of them,

Critics to the left of them,

Critics behind them

Volleyed and thundered;

Stormed at with shot and shell,

While mayor and councilors fell,

That they fought so well

Came through the jaws of voting death,

Back from the mouth of Sell,

All that was left of them,

Left of the city council.

When can their glory fade?

Oh, the wild charge they made!

All the city wondered.

Honor the charge they made!

Honor the city council,

Noble seven councilors!

Jeff Gudman

Lake Oswego City Councilor

(He notes this is a reflection of his views and not necessarily those of the city council.)

Contract Publishing

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