Welcome to The British Literary Ballads Archive, a site dedicated to a unique genre of literary imitations of traditional ballads. The site contains a growing archive of over 700 poems, as well as short biographical sketches of the poets who wrote them.

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Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)



English writer and poet, born in Bombay, India, 30 December 1865, but later educated in England, his home country. He had worked as a journalist from 1882 to 1889 in India, while he composed some poems and novels based on the local life and began to publish them in newspapers at the same time. His collection of short stories, Plain Tales from the Hills (1888), which describes the life of the English living in India and the local people, and his sole long story, Kim (1901), became popular among common people. His poems, which were influenced by hymn tunes and traditional ballads, also gained popularity, so he was a bestselling author, and was called the ‘informal Poet Laureate’. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. His representative volume of poetry, Barrack-Room Ballads and Other Verses (1892), was admired as a work that describes accurately the English soldier’s bravery and loyalty and his great hardships on the battlefield.

Kipling’s literary ballad “The Last Ryme of True Thomas” was built on the motif and character of the traditional ballad “Thomas Rhymer”, which was based on the actual prophet and poet Thomas Erceldoune, who lived in the 13th century. Among the various characterizations of Thomas Rhymer written by various poets, Kipling’s Thomas, as a magnificent prophet, is know for remonstrating against man’s arrogance and denying worldly authority. (M. I.)

1.The Ballad of Boh Da Thone
2.The Ballad of East and West
3.The Ballad of Fisher’s Boarding House
4.The Ballad of Minepit Shaw
5.The Ballad of the “Bolivar”
6.The Ballad of the Cars
7.The Ballad of the “Clampherdown”
8.Cain and Abel
9.A Code of Morals
10.Danny Deever
11.Dinah in Heaven
12.Eddi’s Service
13.The English Way
14.The Fall of Jock Gillespie
15.The Gift of the Sea
16.The Grave of the Hundred Head
17.Lament of the Border Cattle Thief
18.The Last of the Light Brigade
19.The Last Rhyme of True Thomas
20.The Last Suttee
21.Loot
22.Municipal
23.Our Lady of the Sackcloth
24.The Peace of Dives
25.Pink Dominoes
26.The Rhyme of the Three Captains
27.The Rhyme of the Three Sealers
28.Rimmon
29.The Sea-Wife
30.Soldier, Soldier
31.The Truce of the Bear
32.The Widow’s Party