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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Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)



English poet, short story writer, and novelist, born in Charlton, Kent. At sixteen he began to work in the London office of Standard Oil. While employed there for nearly twenty years, he contributed poems and stories to various magazines. His first collection of poems, called Songs of Childhood, appeared in 1902 under the name of Walter Ramal. Subsequently de la Mare published many volumes of poetry, short stories and novels for both adults and children, including The Listeners and Other Poems (1912), The Riddle and Other Stories (1923), and At First Sight (1930). It is said that de la Mare, as a successful writer of poems for children, established himself in the tradition of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience and the ideals of the Romantics by favouring childhood as a time of unique vision unpolluted by adult perceptions. (M. Y.)

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1 The Ghost
2 The Silver Penny