Ballad Definition

Poetry Definition of Ballad

A story in a song, usually a narrative song or poem. Any form of story may be told as a ballad (not to be confused with a ballade), ranging from accounts of historical events to fairy tales in verse form. It is usually with foreshortened alternating four- and three-stress lines ('ballad meter') and simple repeating rhymes, and often with a refrain.

A popular kind of narrative poem, adapted for recitation or singing; esp., a sentimental or romantic poem in short stanzas.



by Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;--
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea--
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

Top 5 Ballad Poem Examples

PMPoem TitlePoetFormCategories
Death of the Poet Destroyer A , Poet Destroyer Balladbirth, change, conflict, death,
Premium Member Poem To Be With You - Bordner, Justin Balladdesire,
The Ballad of the Poet A , Poet Destroyer Balladbeauty, death, deep, emo,
The Squirrel A , Poet Destroyer Balladadventure, animal, beautiful, blessing,
Premium Member Poem Crying River A , SKAT Balladbeautiful, cry, deep, epic,

Standard Definition

[n] a narrative poem of popular origin
[n] a narrative song with a recurrent refrain



See Also...

minstrelsy, poem, song, verse form

Misc. Definitions

\Bal"lad\, n. [OE. balade, OF. balade, F. ballade, fr. Pr. ballada a dancing song, fr. ballare to dance; cf. It. ballata. See 2d {Ball}, n., and {Ballet}.] A popular kind of narrative poem, adapted for recitation or singing; as, the ballad of Chevy Chase; esp., a sentimental or romantic poem in short stanzas.
\Bal"lad\, v. i. To make or sing ballads. [Obs.]
\Bal"lad\, v. t. To make mention of in ballads. [Obs.]

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