The French Ballade
by New Gresham Encyclopedia
Ballade (bal-a?d´), the earlier and modern French spelling of ballad, but now limited in its use to a distinct verse-form introduced into English literature of late years from the French, and chiefly used by writers of vers-de-société. It consists of three stanzas of eight lines each, with an envoy or closing stanza of four lines. The rhymes, which are not more than three, follow each other in the stanzas thus: a, b, a, b; b, c, b, c, and in the envoy, b, c, b, c; and the same line serves as a refrain to each of the stanzas and to the envoy. There are other varieties, but this may be regarded as the strictest, according to the precedent of Villon and Marot.