Ballad? Maybe. (Song, or Rather Sing-song–Yes!) Morning Ballad


DVerse Poets Pub, hosted by Gay Reiser Cannon today, has a prompt to write a ballad, carol or lullabye.  I do not think this is a true ballad, but it may be an entertaining effort.  (Also a bit of an homage to Robert Frost.) 


Morning Ballad

You woke up that morning–
you woke up that day–
wanting to see me
in the worst way.
You saddled your horse
and you rode fast and true
though the rain, it was washing
the sky through and through.

You rode beneath storm clouds
and past lightning’s strike,
past water high-rising—
we’d never seen like–
while your horse, she was frightened,
you held fear at bay,
riding on as rain threatened
to wash all away.

When you came to my window,
and murmured my name,
the sun seemed to rise
though it rained all the same.
Come quickly, you whispered,
we’ve not time to stay
if the road we must take
does not wash away.

I stole to the barn and there,
soaked to the bone,
we clung close together
in lovers’ sweet moan.
Then just as you mounted
high up on that horse,
we heard the dread sound
of my father’s stern voice.

Betrothed to another–
that’s what he said,
and that other’s I’d be
if he saw me dead.
You reached for my arms,
but duty held sway
for I feared that his anger
would ne’er wash away.

He swore that he’d kill you;
you heeded him not.
Till I told you I wanted
what that other had got:
a rich farm with cattle,
a tea set of ‘plate
servants aplenty
to wash and to wait.

Tears hammered my heart
like rain at the roof,
but my face was a desert
my manner aloof—
Oh, I was so clever
that though you did look,
you no more could read me
than a tightly-closed book.

I woke up this morning
like I woke up that day,
wanting to see you
in the worst way.
But what I said then
I cannot unsay.
cause the road not taken
was washed away.

I think of your fingers.
I think of your hands.
They’re farther now
than the farthest of lands.
A heart that’s forsaken
is here for to stay,
while the road not taken
is washed away.

Oh I woke up this morning
like I wake up most days,
wanting to see you
in the worst way.
A heart that is broken
is here for to stay
while the road not taken
is washed away.

P.S. –I am also submitting this poem for the Thursday Poet’s Rally.  And please please please check out Nose Dive!  New comic novel!

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19 Comments on “Ballad? Maybe. (Song, or Rather Sing-song–Yes!) Morning Ballad”

  1. leah J. Lynn Says:

    I could totally her this in a verse of a song. The ending was sad, unexpected and well worth the read.

  2. Laurie Kolp Says:

    I think it’s perfect… sad and rhythmic.

  3. The story takes a satisfyingly unexpected turn — in “He swore that he’d kill you; you heeded him not. Till I told you I wanted what that other had got: a rich farm with cattle, a tea set of ‘plate servants aplenty to wash and to wait.” Whether the narrator said this to protect her beau from her father by making him leave, or because it was true, retains its mystery — she does seem as divided as Frost’s narrator (and Frost’s name is evoked too, maybe, in your desert/rain/sun imagery, as if it’s the harmony to that melody).

    P.S. I love the horse!

  4. Bodhirose Says:

    Wow, what a tale…you did a great job of this. I loved every word. Living a life of regret even though you have “what that other had got”–doesn’t compare to love. Though she said it to save his hide…

  5. David King Says:

    Impressive story, well told. The ending took me by surprise and really made it for me.

  6. brian Says:

    nice…this sounds really lyrical for sure, could hear the rhythm…nice story, reminds me a bit of classic romantic love tales with the angst between suitors…and the steeling away…

  7. Mary Says:

    I just loved this. I read through it in that gallopping rhythm you so wonderfully created. Excellent story within. Sad, realistic; and the ending just blew me away! Bravo. Glad you went for the ‘sincere.’

  8. Sheila Moore Says:

    Your ballad is wonderful!

  9. Regret and Memories – I can hear the C&W hit now

  10. hedgewitch Says:

    A strong cadence and a strong narrative, and the music really flowed most freely for me, esp. at the end–very tangible longing, and a crisp yet very descriptive phrasing keep this one on the high ground despite the wash of clip clop rhyme and meter which makes ballads so hard to do without sounding like a schoolbook. Enjoyed it much.

    • ManicDdaily Says:

      Thanks so much. I had a bit of dread starting out–but then found it moved along more-I had bits and pieces left from something else. I’m not quite sure how a refrain or envoie works in these things, and didn’t really have the time to explore, but that would be an interesting part to develop. (Not with this one, but generally.) K.

  11. Jennifaye Says:

    Powerful words: A heart that is broken is here for to stay while the road not taken is washed away.

  12. zongrik Says:

    this is a wonderful story.

    it has a lot to it, but bottom line, i always say to people, be careful what you say to someone, once you say it, you have no more choices, as long as you have not said it, you have the choice to say it or not.

  13. KB Says:

    Wonderful stuff!

  14. Morning Says:


    very powerful story lines, love the plot and word flow.

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