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Famous Ballade Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Ballade poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous ballade poems. These examples illustrate what a famous ballade poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Laurence Dunbar, Paul
...By Mystic's banks I held my dream.
(I held my fishing rod as well,)
The vision was of dace and bream,
A fruitless vision, sooth to tell.
But round about the sylvan dell
Were other sweet Arcadian shrines,
Gone now, is all the rural spell,
Arcadia has trolley lines.
Oh, once loved, sluggish, darkling stream,
For me no more, thy waters swell,
Thy mus...Read more of this...

by Parker, Dorothy
...This, no song of an ingénue, 
This, no ballad of innocence; 
This, the rhyme of a lady who 
Followed ever her natural bents. 
This, a solo of sapience, 
This, a chantey of sophistry, 
This, the sum of experiments, -- 
I loved them until they loved me. 

Decked in garments of sable hue, 
Daubed with ashes of myriad Lents, 
Wearing shower bouquets of...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...I am weary of lying within the chase
When the knights are meeting in market-place.

Nay, go not thou to the red-roofed town
Lest the hoofs of the war-horse tread thee down.

But I would not go where the Squires ride,
I would only walk by my Lady's side.

Alack! and alack! thou art overbold,
A Forester's son may not eat off gold.

Will she l...Read more of this...

by Parker, Dorothy
...There's little to have but the things I had,
There's little to bear but the things I bore.
There's nothing to carry and naught to add,
And glory to Heaven, I paid the score.

There's little to do but I did before,
There's little to learn but the things I know;
And this is the sum of a lasting lore:
Scratch a lover, and find a foe.

And couldn't...Read more of this...

by Levy, Amy
...He comes; I hear him up the street--
Bird of ill omen, flapping wide
The pinion of a printed sheet,
His hoarse note scares the eventide.
Of slaughter, theft, and suicide
He is the herald and the friend;
Now he vociferates with pride--
A double murder in Mile End!

A hanging to his soul is sweet;
His gloating fancy's fain to bide
Where human-freighted v...Read more of this...

by Levy, Amy
..."To see my love suffices me."
--Ballades in Blue China.

Some men to carriages aspire; 
On some the costly hansoms wait;
Some seek a fly, on job or hire;
Some mount the trotting steed, elate.
I envy not the rich and great,
A wandering minstrel, poor and free,
I am contented with my fate --
An omnibus suffices me.

In winter days of rain and mire
I find within a corner strait;
...Read more of this...

by Henley, William Ernest
...Where are the passions they essayed,
And where the tears they made to flow?
Where the wild humours they portrayed
For laughing worlds to see and know?
Othello's wrath and Juliet's woe?
Sir Peter's whims and Timon's gall?
And Millamant and Romeo?
Into the night go one and all.
Where are the braveries, fresh or frayed?
The plumes, the armours -- friend a...Read more of this...

by Parker, Dorothy
...Love is sharper than stones or sticks;
Lone as the sea, and deeper blue;
Loud in the night as a clock that ticks;
Longer-lived than the Wandering Jew.
Show me a love was done and through,
Tell me a kiss escaped its debt!
Son, to your death you'll pay your due-
Women and elephants never forget.

Ever a man, alas, would mix,
Ever a man, heigh-ho, mus...Read more of this...

by Villon, Francois

Dame du ciel, regents terrienne, 
Emperiere des infemaux palus.... 

Lady of Heaven and earth, and therewithal 
Crowned Empress of the nether clefts of Hell,—

I, thy poor Christian, on thy name do call, 
Commending me to thee, with thee to dwell, 
Albeit in nought I be commendable. 

But all mine undeserving ma...Read more of this...

by Belloc, Hilaire

Lady and Queen and Mystery manifold
And very Regent of the untroubled sky,
Whom in a dream St. Hilda did behold
And heard a woodland music passing by:
You shall receive me when the clouds are high
With evening and the sheep attain the fold.
This is the faith that I have held and hold,
And this is that in which I mean to die.


Steep are t...Read more of this...

by Wignesan, T
...for Léon Vanier*

(The texts I use for my translations are from: Yves-Alain Favre, Ed. Paul Verlaine: Œuvres Poétiques Complètes. Paris: Robert Laffont,1992, XCIX-939p.)

Some few in all this Paris:
We live off pride, yet flat broke we’re
Even if with the bottle a bit too free
We drink above all fresh water
Being very sparing when taken ...Read more of this...

by Henley, William Ernest
...The big teetotum twirls,
And epochs wax and wane
As chance subsides or swirls;
But of the loss and gain
The sum is always plain.
Read on the mighty pall,
The weed of funeral
That covers praise and blame,
The -isms and the -anities,
Magnificence and shame:--
"O Vanity of Vanities!"

The Fates are subtle girls!
They give us chaff for grain.
And Time,...Read more of this...

by Villon, Francois
...Freres humains qui apres nous vivez, 
N'ayez les coeurs contre nous endurcis ... 
Men, brother men, that after us yet live, 
Let not your hearts too hard against us be; 
For if some pity of us poor men ye give, 
The sooner God shall take of you pity. 
Here are we five or six strung up, you see, 
And here the flesh that all too well we fed 
...Read more of this...

by Butler, Ellis Parker
...When our yacht sails seaward on steady keel
And the wind is moist with breath of brine
And our laughter tells of our perfect weal,
We may carol the praises of ruby wine;
But if, automobiling, my woes combine
And fuel gives out in my road-machine
And it's sixteen miles to that home of mine--
Then ho! For a gallon of gasoline!

When our coach rides smoothly ...Read more of this...

by Butler, Ellis Parker
...I am standing under the mistletoe,
 And I smile, but no answering smile replies
For her haughty glance bids me plainly know
 That not for me is the thing I prize;
Instead, from her coldly scornful eyes,
 Indifference looks on my barefaced guile;
She knows, of course, what my act implies—
 But look at those lips! Do they hint a smile?

I stand here, eager, ...Read more of this...

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