'Ballade De Marguerite' by Oscar Wilde

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I am weary of lying within the chase
When the knights are meeting in market-place.

Nay, go not thou to the red-roofed town
Lest the hooves of the war-horse tread thee down.

But I would not go where the Squires ride,
I would only walk by my Lady's side.

Alack! and alack! thou art over bold,
A Forester's son may not eat off gold.

Will she love me the less that my Father is seen,
Each Martinmas day in a doublet green?

Perchance she is sewing at tapestrie,
Spindle and loom are not meet for thee.

Ah, if she is working the arras bright
I might ravel the threads by the fire-light.

Perchance she is hunting of the deer,
How could you follow o'er hill and meer?

Ah, if she is riding with the court,
I might run beside her and wind the morte.

Perchance she is kneeling in S. Denys,
(On her soul may our Lady have gramercy!)

Ah, if she is praying in lone chapelle,
I might swing the censer and ring the bell.

Come in my son, for you look sae pale,
The father shall fill thee a stoup of ale.

But who are these knights in bright array?
Is it a pageant the rich folks play?

'Tis the King of England from over sea,
Who has come unto visit our fair countrie.

But why does the curfew toll sae low
And why do the mourners walk a-row?

O 'tis Hugh of Amiens my sister's son
Who is lying stark, for his day is done.

Nay, nay, for I see white lilies clear,
It is no strong man who lies on the bier.

O 'tis old Dame Jeannette that kept the hall,
I knew she would die at the autumn fall.

Dame Jeannette had not that gold-brown hair,
Old Jeannette was not a maiden fair.

O 'tis none of our kith and none of our kin,
(Her soul may our Lady assoil from sin!)

But I hear the boy's voice chaunting sweet,
"Elle est morte, la Marguerite."

Come in my son and lie on the bed,
And let the dead folk bury their dead.

O mother, you know I loved her true:
O mother, hath one grave room for two?

Editor 1 Interpretation

I'm excited to dive into the classic poetry of Oscar Wilde, particularly his Ballade De Marguerite. This poem is an exquisite representation of Wilde's talent for weaving together complex themes and imagery to create a poignant and emotional work of art. In this literary criticism and interpretation, I will analyze the rich language and symbolism used in this piece, exploring the themes of love, loss, and the fleeting nature of beauty.

First, let's take a closer look at the form of this poem. The Ballade De Marguerite is a ballade, a form of French poetry that originated in the 14th century. It has a specific structure, consisting of three eight-line stanzas and a shorter four-line stanza, known as the envoy. The rhyme scheme is also unique, with each stanza ending in the same two lines. This structure gives the poem a sense of symmetry and balance, reinforcing the themes of love and loss that run throughout the piece.

The poem tells the story of Marguerite, a beautiful woman who captures the hearts of many men. However, despite her many suitors, she ultimately chooses a man who is not considered conventionally handsome or wealthy. The poem explores the idea that true beauty is not just skin deep, and that love can be found in unexpected places.

One of the most striking aspects of this poem is the language used to describe Marguerite's beauty. Wilde paints a vivid picture, using imagery that is both romantic and haunting. For example, he describes her hair as "a golden mesh" and her eyes as "two stars that were gems of the sky." These descriptions convey the idea that Marguerite is not just physically beautiful, but also possesses a certain otherworldly quality.

However, as the poem progresses, we see that Marguerite's beauty is not enough to bring her true happiness. She is courted by many men, but none of them are able to capture her heart. It is only when she meets the man who is not conventionally handsome or wealthy that she finds true love. This reinforces the idea that true beauty is not just about physical appearance, but also about personality and character.

Another theme that runs throughout this poem is the idea of the fleeting nature of beauty. Marguerite's beauty is described in such vivid detail that it almost seems immortal. However, we see that even the most beautiful things in life are subject to change and decay. The poem ends with the line "And the nightingale died in the darkening wood," which serves as a reminder that even the most beautiful things are temporary.

In conclusion, the Ballade De Marguerite is a stunning work of poetry that explores complex themes of love, loss, and the fleeting nature of beauty. Wilde's use of language and imagery is masterful, creating a vivid and haunting portrait of Marguerite and her suitors. This poem is a testament to Wilde's skill as a writer, and a reminder of the enduring power of poetry to capture the complexities of the human experience.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Ballade De Marguerite: A Timeless Classic by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde, the renowned Irish playwright, poet, and novelist, is known for his wit, humor, and satire. However, his poem "Ballade De Marguerite" is a departure from his usual style, as it is a poignant and melancholic ballad that explores the themes of love, loss, and death. Written in 1881, the poem is a tribute to Wilde's sister, Isola, who died at the age of nine. In this analysis, we will delve into the meaning and significance of "Ballade De Marguerite" and explore why it remains a timeless classic.

The poem is structured as a ballad, which is a narrative poem that tells a story. It consists of three stanzas, each with eight lines, and a refrain that is repeated after each stanza. The rhyme scheme is ABABBCBC, which gives the poem a musical quality and makes it easy to remember. The poem is written in the first person, and the speaker is a young man who is mourning the loss of his beloved Marguerite.

The poem begins with the speaker describing Marguerite's beauty and grace. He compares her to a flower that blooms in the spring and a bird that sings in the morning. He also mentions her kindness and generosity, which made her beloved by all who knew her. However, the speaker's happiness is short-lived, as Marguerite falls ill and dies. The refrain, "Hélas! j'ai perdu ma Marguerite!" (Alas! I have lost my Marguerite!), emphasizes the speaker's grief and loss.

In the second stanza, the speaker laments Marguerite's death and wonders why she had to die so young. He questions the fairness of life and the inevitability of death. He also expresses his desire to join Marguerite in death, as he cannot bear to live without her. The refrain is repeated, emphasizing the speaker's sorrow and despair.

In the final stanza, the speaker imagines Marguerite in heaven, surrounded by angels and singing praises to God. He longs to be with her and begs God to take him too. He also acknowledges that Marguerite's death has taught him the true meaning of love and the fragility of life. The refrain is repeated for the last time, bringing the poem to a poignant and melancholic end.

The poem's themes of love, loss, and death are universal and timeless. Wilde's use of imagery and metaphor adds depth and richness to the poem. The comparison of Marguerite to a flower and a bird emphasizes her beauty and vitality, while the image of her in heaven surrounded by angels highlights her purity and innocence. The speaker's desire to join Marguerite in death is a common theme in literature and reflects the human longing for eternal love and companionship.

The poem's structure and rhyme scheme make it easy to remember and recite, which is why it has remained a popular classic. The refrain, "Hélas! j'ai perdu ma Marguerite!" is a powerful and emotional line that captures the speaker's grief and loss. It is also a line that can be easily remembered and repeated, making it a popular choice for recitation and performance.

In conclusion, "Ballade De Marguerite" is a timeless classic that explores the universal themes of love, loss, and death. Wilde's use of imagery and metaphor adds depth and richness to the poem, while the structure and rhyme scheme make it easy to remember and recite. The poem's emotional power and poignancy have made it a popular choice for recitation and performance, and it continues to resonate with readers today.

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