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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George Gordon Byron (1788-1824)


English Romantic poet, born in London, 22 January 1788. In 1798, when the fifth Baron Byron died, George Gordon Byron succeeded to the title of the sixth Baron Byron, and hence he is generally called Lord Byron. In 1807 he published his first collection of poems, Hours of Idleness, which was criticized severely by the Edinburgh Review. He took revenge for the criticism with his satirical poem, English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, in 1809. From 1809 to 1811 when he made his first grand tour, he began to write Child Harold's Pilgrimage (published 1812-18). The poem, in which pessimistic, exotic and satirical elements coexist, established his popularity as a poet. He left England in 1816 and had a friendship with Shelley in Switzerland. Byron's literary ballad, Oscar of Alva, deals with a feud between brothers, a theme found both in the Old Testament and in the traditional ballad, "The Twa Brothers" (Child 49). There is a certain similarity between Byron's style and the style of the traditional ballad, which eliminates sentimental phrases. (M. I.)

1.“Beware! Beware! of the Black Friar”
2.The Destruction of Sennacherib
3.The Devil’s Drive
4.“The Good Night”
5.Oscar of Alva
6.A Very Mournful Ballad on the Siege and Conquest of Alhama