Ballad. A popular narrative song passed down orally. In the English tradition, it usually follows a form of rhymed (abcb) quatrains alternating four-stress and three-stress lines. Folk (or traditional) ballads are anonymous and recount tragic, comic, or heroic stories with emphasis on a central dramatic event.




“Oh! What plagues thee, ye beautiful princess,

Alone by the castle why dost thou recline?

Pray tell me the cause of thy pain,

Sorrow doesn’t befit a face so divine”.


“Oh! What plagues thee, ye beautiful princess,

Weary and weak, pale and frail.

The soft sunbeams are falling on thy face,

Oh! What for thee has become thy Holy Grail”?


“Alas! I see a frown on thy brow,

On this bright sunny day,

When the meadows are green, the air serene,

What can be the cause of thy dismay”?


“I remember the day I beheld thee,

Thy kind loving eyes met mine.

Again and again ye beamed and smiled,

And we fell in love in the bright bright sunshine”!


“Alas! That was the last time ye smiled,

Merciless Melancholy has taken over ever since,

 To me, thy face sublime, still looks divine,

And it pains me to see thee wince.”


I beseech her to tell me the cause of her pain,

She tells me that she ain’t a princess,

With kind loving eyes and a face sublime,

But an ugly, lonely sorceress.


I look at her in disbelief,

The face sublime is suddenly devoid of all its divinity.

My princess has turned into an ogre,

And I’m left gaping at this parody.


She tells me how she yearns to marry me,

That I was the cause of her melancholy.

She promised to give up her wicked ways and black art,

Because all she wanted was matrimony.


Moved  to tears by her love and resolve

I forgive her for her disguise.

Lo! My loving witch has disappeared,

Now I’m waiting for another surprise.


Suddenly, raindrops wake me up from my reverie,

The air is serene and the meadows green,

Alone by the castle, I recline,

My witch and princess is no one but Nature, pristine





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