Picture It And Write: The Ballad of Galena

Clock bird cage

Refrain:
Folk tell the tale of Galena,
A caged bird, pretty as can be!
She lived her life on the clock,
Set to die at 8:30.
 (I)
Galena sang her songs, every day
Within the castle walls.
And her voice, so sweet and pure,
Echoed to the misty falls.
(II)
She sang of love, she sang of hope,
Perched on the window sill.
She sang of pain, she sang of loss
And being held against her will.
 (Refrain)
Folk tell the tale of Galena,
A caged bird, pretty as can be!
She lived her life on the clock,
Set to die at 8:30.
 (III)
There came a hawk to the castle,
A companion to fly he sought.
He heard the song of Galena
And his soul she caught.
 (IV)
The hawk he preened his feathers,
And bowed before the Queen;
Only to his dismay, have her say,
“Galena’s to be heard and never seen.”
 (Refrain)
Folk tell the tale of Galena,
A caged bird, pretty as can be!
She lived her life on the clock,
Set to die at 8:30.
 (V)
The handsome hawk went against
The rule of a cold and frigid heart.
He soared to Galena’s window,
And the source of his mind’s art.
 (VI)
He gazed upon the princess,
As she lay in sleep.
His touch brought her up,
And her eyes began to weep.
(Refrain) 
Folk tell the tale of Galena,
A caged bird, pretty as can be!
She lived her life on the clock,
Set to die at 8:30.
 (VII)
The poor prince sat bewildered,
As his love began to age.
She told him to his horror
About her gilded cage.
 (VIII)
She was cursed so long ago
By one of the Fae, so wee,
That any who looked on her with love
Would trigger dire prophecy.
 (Refrain)
Folk tell the tale of Galena,
A caged bird, pretty as can be!
She lived her life on the clock,
Set to die at 8:30.
 
She died at 8:30!
She died at 8:30!
 
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 For Picture And Write this week I tried something a little bit different. In my quest to try different forms of poetry I attempted one I had serious reservations about: The Ballad. A Ballad is a short narrative poem, generally with stanzas of two or four lines and a refrain. Again, in general, the second and fourth line of a stanza rhyme. Topics usually fall in the realm of myth and folk-lore, but that isn’t a hard and fast rule.

My attempt falls more into the creating folk-lore territory. “Romeo and Juliet” ran through my mind, and how it was originally a cautionary tale about listening to your parents and not allowing the passions of love to cloud your judgement. I patterned my Ballad along those lines.

Hope you enjoy, and I welcome (and definitely appreciate) any feedback anyone can give. What worked? What didn’t? What might have you done differently?

Head over to Ermilia blog and join in the fun!

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

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9 thoughts on “Picture It And Write: The Ballad of Galena

  1. How beautiful but sad too……poor little Galena. I really enjoyed this format.

    • Thanks, Anja! It’s supposed to be a song, unfortunately the only tune that runs through my head for ballads is “Oh, Susanna” 🙂

      • ha..I got the song part but didn’t “hear” Oh Susanna” Is that good or bad? ha

      • Probably a good thing. Every ballad I read goes to that tune until I hear differently 😉 I should probably look some up on Youtube so I’m not stuck reading with “A banjo on my knee” echoing in the back of my mind 😀

  2. This is the first ballad submitted to Picture it & Write. Very unique! Poor birdy but I absolutely loved it.

  3. Oh Susanna? A great Ballad to be sure! I really like it!

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