The ring is on my hand,
And the wreath is on my brow;
Satin and jewels grand
Are all at my command,
And I am happy now.
And my lord he loves me well;
But, when first he breathed his vow,
I felt my bosom swell-
For the words rang as a knell,
And the voice seemed his who fell
In the battle down the dell,
And who is happy now.

But he spoke to re-assure me,
And he kissed my pallid brow,
While a reverie came o’er me,
And to the church-yard bore me,
And I sighed to him before me,
Thinking him dead D’Elormie,
“Oh, I am happy now!”

And thus the words were spoken,
And this the plighted vow,
And, though my faith be broken,
And, though my heart be broken,
Here is a ring, as token
That I am happy now!

Would God I could awaken!
For I dream I know not how!
And my soul is sorely shaken
Lest an evil step be taken,-
Lest the dead who is forsaken
May not be happy now.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Allan Poe's poem Bridal Ballad

10 Comments

  1. jax says:

    I can’t believe the bigotry of the Americans on this forum. Just because one person doesn’t like the poem, and they happen to be from Canada, you decide to rip an entire nation. Just to give you point of fact, the Canadians have and always do fight in battles and we are also known for our peace keeping efforts in war ravaged countries. In the battle of 1812 it was a fiesty bunch of Canadians who helped the British turn back the Americans…and WON. A couple were painting Canadian graffiti on the White House before burning it to the ground. We were also a country that had one of the largest world Navy’s in World War one and Two. We were the ones that held the beach at Normandy before the Americans finally showed up. And we were in Afghanistan while the Americans chased shadows and phantom weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Please don’t open your mouth about what we have or have not fought for until you know.

  2. Zeke says:

    This is one of Poe’s best poems. He was truly a gifted genious.

    Hey, Sally, I would not say it is contradictory that you only like English poetry and are “very patriotic,” since Canada is not a nation but a geographic concept. Since Canadians have never known sacrifice for a higher ideal, it is inevitable for a Canadian “patriot” would find that his or her loyalty lies only in the rudimentary patriotism of race and tongue, thus it is perfectly logical that any Canadian outside of Quebec would be an English jingoist. Nor is it surprising that a Canadian woman would not relate to a poem in which a woman’s first love fell in battle, since she would better understand a poem about a man who “fell” on his face trying to get away from a battle.

  3. brenda wester says:

    The beauty of this poem is so elegant and quaint that you can’t help but love it. Especially with today’s loss of innocence. The significance of the wedding ring in this poem is the way things used to be in society. The bride’s lack of self confidence shines through as womem were held back in that era.Yet at the same time she is very happy .A wedding can be filled with mixed emotions exactly like this bride felt. It is amazing to me that a poem writtem so long ago could apply to a bride of today. This is a beautiful work of art and it is timeless!

  4. Kay says:

    Inbal, if you like Hayley Westenra’s pure tone and the words, you would like the Canadian songstress Loreena McKennitt. She sings the same sort of poem (such as Lady of Shallot, the Highwayman, Shakespearean poetry and prose, poems by Blake, and traditional Irish and English ballads.) and has an equally enchanting voice.

  5. Inbal says:

    I really like the Bridal Ballad, and especially the musical rendition in “The Merchant of Venice” (composed by Jocelyn Pook, and sung by Hayley Westenra, not Andreas Scholl as previously mentioned, though he does sing other songs in the movie’s soundtrack). Can anyone recommend other poems adapted to songs in that fashion? or just songs in the same genre as that one…

  6. Melissa says:

    Well, the reason why William Hunkledore is not very well acclaimed may be due to the fact that he’s only published in about… NONE of the anthologies that I know of.
    Do you know W.H. Auden? (one of the gems and poet laureates of Britain) Or Seamus Heaney? (another laureate and translator of the most current, most popular Beowulf). They are considered in the top most influential poets in the past century.
    While this is not necessarily a paramount of … God, you don’t want to hear this anyhow.
    Just don’t go making comparisons with Shakespeare and anyone else. Of course they’ll pale. However, that does not mean they are not at the same level. Not nearly half of the people who have read Shakespeare and know what play “The Winter of Our Discontent” comes from would know T.S. Elliot or which month is the most cruel. (April.)
    Maybe it’s because I’m both a woman AND English(well, raised in America, born British) but I don’t think it’s half bad. And if you can write a better poem, I look forward to seeing your works in the anthologies I’ll be reading.
    As for it being a Poe poem, I liked the change of perspective, too. Women were seen as a more “mystic” influence at this time (see Lady of Shallot) which may be why he chose it, or to have a clearer distinction from the narrator and the author. Gothics often played with point of view and consciousness… probably why this woman keeps on thinking the man she’s marrying is someone else.
    As for the Merchant of Venice soundtrack, it’s beautiful! If there’s one thing I love more than my current study of English and British Lit (yes, I specialise in the Romantic and Gothic eras), it’s singing… which is what made me discover this poem in the fist place.

  7. Buck says:

    Hey Sally, Canadadian should stick with the only thing their decent at: hockey. Leave poetry to us.

  8. redking says:

    I wish that all of Poe’s poems could be set to music as well as Andreas Scholl’s rendition in the soundtrack ‘The Merchant Of Venice’. Simply stunning, a voice that could melt stone.

  9. Sally Hayes says:

    I actually think this poem was extremely boring. I could write a better poem if I really wanted to which I do not seeing as poetry is only decent when it is written by a womanand/or an english person. I have to say it takes a lot to say that seeing as I am extremely patriotic! But look people: if someone said to you in the street William Hunkledore would you know who that was? Mostprobably not, he was a Canadian poet but his pieces were awful, if I said to you Shakespeare…well everybody knows who he was! Open you’re eyes people!

  10. Jennifer says:

    I love Poe’s works,especially “The Raven” and “The Cask of Amontillado”.This poem,however,struck my attention for the fact that he wrote a poem from a woman’s point of view.

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