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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Charles Sackville (1638-1706)



English poet and courtier, 6th Earl of Dorset. Sackville was a favourite of Charles II (1660-85), later becoming a loyal supporter of William III (1689-1702). In 1665 Sackville volunteered to serve under the Duke of York in the Second Anglo-Dutch War (from 4 March 1665 until 31 July 1667). England tried to end the Dutch domination of world trade, but the war ended in a Dutch victory. His famous ballad, “To all you Ladies now at Land”, was written, according to Matthew Prior, on the night before an initial victory was gained by England 3 June 1665. Sackville, who, in his latter life, was known as patron of poets such as Matthew Prior (1664-1721) and John Dryden (1631-1700), was also praised as a poet of wit who wrote some biting satires. (M. Y.)

1.Song ("To all you ladies now at land")