This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Throughout Walter Scott's literary career, he imitated and translated poems from German sources. The resulting collection was gradually expanded over successive editions of Scott's poetry until it included seven items, which are introduced below.
Each ballad is a narrative poem retelling a popular German fairy-tale: including poignantly dramatic and tragic themes.
William - long thought dead - unexpectedly returns at midnight from the crusades to marry his betrothed. Helen - relieved at his return - joyfully agrees, after initial misgivings: follows him on horseback on a wild gallop through the night. Approaching the church in which they will celebrate their wedding: it is clear to Helen that all is not what it seems. But, with their mutual love strong enough to transcend death itself - what can possibly go wrong?  :630–633
Sometimes referred to under its alternative title The Chase, this ballad describes the testing and judgment upon a profligate, noble-born keeper of the royal forest. The nobleman cruelly uses and mistreats his fellow-men: and is avidly addicted to the pleasures of hunting. One day God's messengers come to test him: executing sentence immediately in just proportion to the huntsman's responses.  :634–636
Count Albert never returns from crusade: having been imprisoned by Saracens. Rosalie, his betrothed, swears to leave at once for Lebanon to find him. Rosalie succeeds - but alas, all is changed between them forever: and their parting is death itself.  :637–639
Frederick breaks troth and abandons the beautiful Alice: sending her mad with grief. But Alice contrives to meet her faithless lover once more: beyond the grave.  :640–641
This ballad translates an original written to celebrate the Swiss victory during the Battle of Sempach: by which the Swiss cantons established their independence.  :642–643
This ballad describes the ordeal of the Baron of Märstetten: who departs upon a pilgrimage which lasts seven years. While sleeping, the Baron is shown in a vision that his faithful wife believes that he is dead, and is preparing to remarry. Interceding with Saint Thomas, he is transported back to Switzerland; where he reveals himself to his wife (after the manner of a modern Ulysses) and both are joyfully reunited.  :644–647
The Erl-King (or Oak-King) sings for the soul of a human boy: who cringes for dear life within the arms of his father riding home through the dreary wood. But do spirits really have power to charm away the lives of the living?  :648–649
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, poet, playwright, and historian. Many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include The Lady of the Lake and the novels Waverley, Old Mortality, Rob Roy, The Heart of Mid-Lothian, The Bride of Lammermoor, and Ivanhoe.
Gottfried August Bürger was a German poet. His ballads were very popular in Germany. His most noted ballad, Lenore, found an audience beyond readers of the German language in an English and Russian adaptation and a French translation.
The Song of Roland is an 11th-century epic poem based on the Battle of Roncevaux Pass in 778, during the reign of Charlemagne. It is the oldest surviving major work of French literature and exists in various manuscript versions, which testify to its enormous and enduring popularity in the 12th to 16th centuries.
Theobald I, also called the Troubadour and the Posthumous, was Count of Champagne from birth and King of Navarre from 1234. He initiated the Barons' Crusade, was famous as a trouvère, and was the first Frenchman to rule Navarre.
"The Three Ravens" is an English folk ballad, printed in the song book Melismata compiled by Thomas Ravenscroft and published in 1611, but it is perhaps older than that. Newer versions were recorded right up through the 19th century. Francis James Child recorded several versions in his Child Ballads. A Scots language ballad called "Twa Corbies" has lyrics based on "The Three Ravens" with a similar general story, but with a darker twist. Twa Corbies is sung to a different melody.
The Talisman is a novel by Sir Walter Scott. It was published in 1825 as the second of his Tales of the Crusaders, the first being The Betrothed.
Hjaðningavíg, the legend of Heðinn and Hǫgni or the Saga of Hild is a Scandinavian legend from Norse mythology about a never-ending battle which is documented in Sörla þáttr, Ragnarsdrápa, Gesta Danorum, Skíðaríma and in Skáldskaparmál. It is also held to appear on the image stone at Stora Hammar on Gotland. Moreover, it is alluded to in the Old English poems Deor and Widsið, and in the Old Norse Háttalykill inn forni, and a version of it survived down to the 18th century in the traditional Norn language ballad "Hildina". An altered version of the saga is found in the Middle High German poem Kudrun, as a prologue to the story of Kudrun herself. Yet another version is found in the Old Yiddish Dukus Horant.
The Gay Science or occasionally translated as The Joyful Wisdom is a book by Friedrich Nietzsche, first published in 1882 and followed by a second edition, which was published after the completion of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil, in 1887. This substantial expansion includes a fifth book and an appendix of songs. It was noted by Nietzsche to be "the most personal of all [his] books", and contains the greatest number of poems in any of his published works.
"The King and the Beggar-maid" is a 16th-century broadside ballad that tells the story of an African king, Cophetua, and his love for the beggar Penelophon. The story has been widely referenced and King Cophetua has become a byword for "a man who falls in love with a woman instantly and proposes marriage immediately".
Maria Komnene or Comnena was the second wife of King Amalric I of Jerusalem and mother of Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem.
"The Marriage of Sir Gawain" is an English Arthurian ballad, collected as Child Ballad 31. Found in the Percy Folio, it is a fragmented account of the story of Sir Gawain and the loathly lady, which has been preserved in fuller form in the medieval poem The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle. The loathly lady episode itself dates at least back to Geoffrey Chaucer's "Wife of Bath's Tale" from The Canterbury Tales. Unlike most of the Child Ballads, but like the Arthurian "King Arthur and King Cornwall" and "The Boy and the Mantle", "The Marriage of Sir Gawain" is not a folk ballad but a song for professional minstrels.
King Horn is a Middle English chivalric romance dating back to the middle of the thirteenth century. It survives in three manuscripts: MS. Harley 2253 at the British Library, London; MS. Laud. Misc 108 at the Bodleian Library, Oxford; and MS. Gg. iv. 27. 2 at the Cambridge University Library. It is also presumably based on the Anglo-Norman story Romance of Horn (1170). The story was retold in later romances and ballads, and is considered part of the Matter of England. The poem is currently believed to be the oldest extant romance in Middle English.
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border is an anthology of Border ballads, together with some from north-east Scotland and a few modern literary ballads, edited by Walter Scott. It was first published in 1802, but was expanded in several later editions, reaching its final state in 1830, two years before Scott's death. It includes many of the most famous Scottish ballads, such as Sir Patrick Spens, The Young Tamlane, The Twa Corbies, The Douglas Tragedy, Clerk Saunders, Kempion, The Wife of Usher's Well, The Cruel Sister, The Dæmon Lover, and Thomas the Rhymer. Scott enlisted the help of several collaborators, notably John Leyden, and found his ballads both by field research of his own and by consulting the manuscript collections of others. Controversially, in the editing of his texts he preferred literary quality over scholarly rigour, but Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border nevertheless attracted high praise from the first. It was influential both in Britain and on the Continent, and helped to decide the course of Scott's later career as a poet and novelist. In recent years it has been called "the most exciting collection of ballads ever to appear."
The Betrothed is an 1825 novel by Sir Walter Scott. It is the first of two Tales of the Crusaders, the second being The Talisman.
The Lady of the Lake is a narrative poem by Sir Walter Scott, first published in 1810. Set in the Trossachs region of Scotland, it is composed of six cantos, each of which concerns the action of a single day. The poem has three main plots: the contest among three men, Roderick Dhu, James Fitz-James, and Malcolm Graeme, to win the love of Ellen Douglas; the feud and reconciliation of King James V of Scotland and James Douglas; and a war between the lowland Scots and the highland clans. The poem was tremendously influential in the nineteenth century, and inspired the Highland Revival.
The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.
Mary of Lusignan, was the wife of Count Walter IV of Brienne and Countess of Brienne from the time of her marriage in 1233 to her husband's death while on Crusade in 1244. Mary's parents were King Hugh I of Cyprus and Alice of Champagne, making her a maternal granddaughter of Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem. Her two surviving sons were John, Count of Brienne, and Hugh of Brienne.
"Lenore", sometimes translated as "Leonora", "Leonore" or "Ellenore", is a poem written by German author Gottfried August Bürger in 1773, and published in 1774 in the Göttinger Musenalmanach. "Lenore" is generally characterised as being part of the 18th-century Gothic ballads, and although the character that returns from its grave in the poem is not considered to be a vampire, the poem has been very influential on vampire literature. William Taylor, who published the first English translation of the ballad, would later claim that "no German poem has been so repeatedly translated into English as 'Ellenore'".
Sir Tryamour is a Middle English romance dated to the late fourteenth century. The source is unknown and, like almost all of the Middle English romances to have survived, its author is anonymous. The 1,719-line poem is written in irregular tail rhyme stanzas composed in the Northeast Midlands dialect. There are textual ambiguities and obscurities that suggest corruption or "loose transmission." Consequently, interpretations, glosses and notes vary between editions, sometimes substantially.
“Glenfinlas; or, Lord Ronald's Coronach” by Walter Scott, written in 1798 and first published in 1800, was, as Scott remembered it, his first original poem as opposed to translations from the German. A short narrative of 264 lines, it tells a supernatural story based on a Highland legend. Though highly appreciated by many 19th century readers and critics it is now overshadowed by his later and longer poems.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|