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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William Morris (1834-96)


English poet, writer, craftsman, furniture and textile designer, businessman and socialist, born in London and educated at Oxford, where he met Burne-Jones (1833-98), who became a companion for life. In 1856 he met D. G. Rossetti (1828-82), and took part in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. As a poet he published The Defence of Guenevere and Other Poems(1858), The Earthly Paradise (1868-70) and other works. Morris considered the traditional ballad an ideal form of poetry and created a great many literary ballads throughout his life. His ballads are like the tapestries he designed, brimming over with a medieval atmosphere. Incidentally, it is a notorious fact that his wife, Jane, had an affair with Rossetti over many years. (M. M.)

1.Riding Together
2.The Sailing of the Sword
3.Shameful Death
4.Two Red Roses across the Moon
5.Welland River