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      • Ballads carry tales of tragic romance (Edgar Allan Poe’s “Annabel Lee”), of the honor of warriors (Rudyard Kipling’s “The Ballad of East and West”), of the despair of poverty (William Butler Yeats’ “The Ballad of Moll Magee”), of the secrets of brewing (Robert Louis Stevenson’s “ Heather Ale: A Galloway Legend ”), and of conversations across the divide between life and death (Thomas Hardy’s “Her Immortality”).
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  2. 8 of the Best Examples of Ballad Poems 1. Anonymous, ‘ The Unquiet Grave ’.. This is part-ballad, part ghost story, as we find a dead woman speaking from... 2. A. E. Housman, ‘ Is My Team Ploughing ’.. The land you used to plough. Since we mentioned Housman (1859-1936) above,... 3. Emily Dickinson, ...

    • “La Belle Dame Sans Merci” by John Keats
    • “The Rime of The Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    • “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe
    • “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns
    • “The Ballad of The Red Earl” by Rudyard Kipling
    • “The Solitary Reaper” by William Wordsworth
    • “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” by Oscar Wilde
    • ”The Ballad of Father Gilligan” by William Butler Yeats
    • “Bonnie Barbara Allen”
    • “John Henry”

    One of the oldest known English ballad poems, “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” means “The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy. This poem is one of the best examples of ballads because it perfectly follows the abcb rhyme scheme. Like many of Keats’s poems, this focuses on love and death. In the poem, a fairy seduces a knight and then condemns him to an untimely...

    The longest poem by Coleridge, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” starts with an elderly sailor stopping a man on the way to a wedding. He begins a harrowing tale of life at sea, his poor choice of shooting an albatross, and the penance he pays for his mistake. With over 600 lines, this poem is quite long for a traditional ballad, but it still fits...

    Edgar Allan Poe weaves the tale of the lovely Annabel Lee. This love song is tragic because Annabel Lee dies, leaving behind her lover to mourn her life. This poem is famous because it is the last poem Poe completed before his death, and its publication occurred after the death of the poet.

    This lyrical ballad compares love to a rose, and Bob Dylan once called it his “single biggest inspiration.” Because it has lines of iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter woven throughout, it fits the literary ballad tradition, even though it is not a narrative poem. While the meter and rhyme scheme make this poem an example of a ballad, it is also ...

    Kipling modeled “The Ballad of the Red Earl” after the traditional ballad poems of the Scottish Border country. He uses many abbreviations that come from the Scottish language. The poem mocks fun at Earl Spencer, and he published the poem just two days afteran infamous speech made by the Earl. In the following excerpt, Kipling accuses the Earl of b...

    As one of the best-known poems of Wordsworth, “The Solitary Reaper” earns a spot on this list. It explores the beauty of a Highland lass harvesting crops in a field and singing a sad song that passersby can hear. Since many ballads are also songs, it is fitting that this poem is about a girl singing an unknown song. It praises music as a form of be...

    This famous ballad starts out tragic as the main character lies dead. The poem tells about a man subject to the death penalty after spending many years in prison. Wilde uses the meter of the poem well, helping the reader get a feel for the pounding, boring rhythm of daily life in prison.

    In this poem, Yeats tells the story of a tired old priest whose flock is fighting illness. He gets called to the bedside of a dying man, only to fall asleep. When he awakens, the man has died. He sneaks out, then comes back as if for the first time to perform last rites, all without the family knowing he fell asleep on the job.

    Though the author’s name has gotten lost in history, “Bonny Barbara Allen” remains one of the more popular folk ballads. This song tells the tragic story of a lord who calls on the winsome Barbara Allen while sick in bed, only to have his love spurned. The first known references to this poem came from the 1600s, making it one of the older poems on ...

    Another famous folk ballad, “John Henry,” comes from the culture of African-American workers. It tells the story of a heroic black working man, and it likely originated as a work song. Whether or not John Henry was based on a real person remains a debate among historians, but the song has taken its place among the best ballads ever.

  3. Ballad Examples. The following examples of ballads show several types of variations of the form. To help highlight the structure of each example, we've highlighted all "A" rhymes in green, "B" rhymes in red, and "C" rhymes in yellow. Folk Ballad: "Barbara Allen" "Barbara Allen" is a folk ballad that follows the traditional A B C B rhyme scheme ...

  4. Here are some famous examples of ballads in poetry: John Barleycorn: A Ballad ( Robert Burns) The Ballad of the Dark Ladie (Samuel Taylor Coleridge) A Ballad of Burdens (Algernon Charles Swinburne) A Ballad of Boding (Christina Rossetti) The Ballad of East and West ( Rudyard Kipling) The Ballad of ...

    • Staff Writer
    • "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" by Elvis Presley
    • "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You" by Nsync
    • "Candle in the Wind" by Elton John
    • "Faithfully" by Journey
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