Ballad Examples

Ballad

Before language was written, cultures passed traditional stories and histories down through oral language. These were called ballads. Later, poets wrote ballads-narrative poems. These poems that tell a story typically use simple language and repetition.

Examples of Ballad:

"Rime of the Ancient Mariner"-Coleridge

A wedding guest is stopped by an old mariner, who tells him the story of a fateful journey, on which he shot an albatross and a curse seems to descend upon his ship and crew.

"Lord Randall"-Anonymous

Upon returning from a hunt, a young man answers his mother's questions about the hunt and reveals that he has been poisoned.

"La Belle Dame Sans Merci"-Keats

A knight tells a story about a mysterious and beautiful fairy who woos him, but then he dreams about her conquests-who are all dead now-and wakes up in a field.

"The Lady of Shalott"-Tennyson

Narrative about a mysterious Lady who lives in a castle on the Isle of Shalott which is on the way to Camelot.

"Annabelle Lee"-Poe

Haunting poem in which the speaker tells the story of his love for his dead bride.

"The Ballad of Moll Magee"-Yeats

Moll Magee tells the story of how she accidentally killed her baby by laying on it while she was sleeping.

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