The ballade is a verse form typically consisting of three eight-line stanzas, each with a consistent metre and a particular rhyme scheme. The last line in the stanza is a refrain, and a four-line concluding stanza (an envoi) usually addressed to a prince (in lieu of a prince, for whom ever the inspiration for the poem may come)  follows the stanzas. (The ballade should not be confused with the ballad.) The rhyme scheme is therefore usually ‘ababbcbC ababbcbC ababbcbC bcbC’, where the capital ‘C’ is a refrain.

There are many variations to the ballade, and it is in many ways similar to the ode and chant royal. There are instances of a double ballade and double-refrain ballade. Some ballades have five stanzas; a ballade supreme has ten-line stanzas rhyming ababbccdcD, with the envoi ccdcD or ccdccD. A seven-line ballade, or ballade royal, consists of four stanzas of rhyme royal, all using the same three rhymes, all ending in a refrain, without an envoi.



He fell deeply in love at first glance,
a woman with eyes like jade moons
that smoldered, saying let’s take a chance.
She floated in amber and jasmine perfume.
Bewitched, he yearned to consume
her, although he knew he was not free.
Obsessed, he quickly pursued her.
Lust burns at high degrees

He lived for those stolen moments,
without her, a painting unfinished.
In his head, a voice cried, atonement,
but his passion did not diminish.
A year passed. He was feeling skittish
as they spoke only of ‘we.’
Thoughts of divorce made him wince.
Lust burns at high degrees

She pressed him to devise a plan
that allowed them to live together.
As doubts mounted, he began
to feel like a lesser man.
Nerves pushed him to end of his tether.
Under pressure, he could not leave.
Ten years later, he wonders whether . . .
Lust burns at high degrees

© Sara McNulty – 2016



In contemplation, sat she did,
to think of futures yet unknown,
despite the sad farewells she’ll bid,
and “braverisms” that she’s shown.
Her daughters, yes, are fully grown
to carry on her beauty bright,
And so to right the love I’ve shown,
I’ll stand beside her in her fight.

Lament the battered heart and head,
such maladies should not be hers.
I’d take them on myself instead
to suffer all that it incurs.
So as for now if it gets worse
I’ll keep my precious well in sight,
and pray that nothing more occurs,
I’ll stand beside her in her fight.

My sad intent comes at a price
through indiscretions wrought, it seems.
Forgiveness given must suffice,
as life dismantles all our dreams.
Yet through it all, her smile still beams,
a beacon through this dreary night,
emotions flow from both extremes,
I’ll stand beside her in her fight.

My princess, queen – my love so true,
I’ll hold you close with all my might,
and give you all that you are due,
I’ll stand beside you in your fight.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

14 thoughts on “INFORM POETS – BALLADE


    We shouldn’t expect a life of ease,
    to live untouched by grief or pain.
    Storms bring winds. Life is not a breeze.
    Let’s take what comes and not complain;
    God is certainly not to blame.
    If every moment’s not sublime.
    Don’t shake a fist at falling rain.
    A smooth mountain we cannot climb.

    We must all of us learn to seize
    the day. Cull some good we can claim.
    The bad can drop us to our knees.
    The message here should ring quite plain:
    Think positive, know that our brain
    is wise enough and is not blind.
    We need to walk along the grain.
    A smooth mountain we cannot climb.

    The lessons we should learn are these:
    Stand tall, be strong, and feel no shame
    when we stumble. Getting up frees
    us from wasting time. Keep the flame
    bright for ourselves and others. Tame
    the fears that rob us of our prime.
    The upward trek’s a rocky game;
    a smooth mountain we cannot climb.

    Our working hard is worth the strain.
    We’ll be proud if we can define
    life with ups and downs. Truth remains:
    A smooth mountain we cannot climb.



    The chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace
    flaunt their expanse of white and blue
    along the roadside, at the space
    where field-dried corn lets yellow through,
    and here the asters, holding dew,
    mix vibrant purple with the wet;
    they form a shimmered sunlight brew
    as autumn casts its vast palette.

    The corn, though sere, holds pride of place,
    the stalks still standing plumb and true;
    each tassel forms a weathered face
    atop each member of the crew
    and here and there I spy a few
    of last year’s bean plants, growing yet
    and loosing gold to spice the view
    as autumn casts its vast palette.

    Migrating birds add fluid grace,
    replacing meadowlarks that flew
    to follow sunlight’s southward trace,
    but chickadees still form a queue
    of black and white and russet hue
    that limns the season’s movie set.
    The scene I see, no artist drew
    as autumn casts its vast palette.

    This time of year, I laugh anew:
    though winter comes, I shall not fret;
    this precious time leaves naught to rue
    as autumn casts its vast palette.

  3. Creation Shows God’s Praise

    They rise up from the land
    Like monsters of the deep.
    Their ridges resting and
    They look like they’re asleep.
    The mountains grand and steep
    Applaud Him all their days.
    Their beauty makes one weep.
    Creation shows God’s praise.

    The oceans roar their song
    Beneath blue steely skies,
    Declaring loud and strong
    The grace of one so wise.
    His greatness advertise
    Repeating with each wave.
    Their honor never dies.
    Creation shows God’s praise

    The forests tall and green,
    They hide within their shade
    Their wonders seldom seen.
    Choice treasures that God made
    With beauty so arrayed
    His wonders He displays.
    Their glory doesn’t fade.
    Creation shows God’s praise.

    The mountains, oceans, wood
    And all that He has made,
    They praise Him as they should.
    Creation shows God’s praise.


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