|Alfred, Lord Tennyson|
They swept proudly past, glittering in the morning sun in all the pride and splendour of war. We could scarcely believe the evidence of our senses! Surely that handful of men are not going to charge an army in position? Alas! it was but too true - their desperate valour knew no bounds
The use of free indirect speech here (we can hear the peoples' thoughts without 'they said') suggests perhaps the use of 'all the world wondered' at the start of the poem.
When you're thinking about the poem, try and concentrate on some of the amazing sound effects that Tennyson creates. He is very fond of alliteration and assonance, and this is something that you should notice. You may also be struck with the rhythm of the poem, which seems to imitate the beat of hooves of a galloping horse. This metre (one strong beat, followed by two weaker beats) is called a dactylic rhythm--remember it, as I do, by imagining pterodactyls over the valley of death. Speaking of death, you might also like to notice the dead rhymes where a word is rhymed with itself, creating a relentless and deadening effect.
The repetition in the opem may remind you of a ballad--and it has something of this feel to it--there is certainly some incremental repetition, where we are gradually informed about more and more as the poem goes on, until, for instance, we finally find that not all the 'six hundred' come back..