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Proud Signild and Other Ballads   By: (1859-1937)

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Proud Signild and Other Ballads, penned by Thomas James Wise, showcases a masterful collection of ballads that transport readers to a world of drama, history, and romance. Through the vivid storytelling and poetic prowess, Wise breathes life into traditional ballads, reviving the age-old genre for contemporary readers.

One of the most striking aspects of this anthology is Wise's impeccable command over language. The verses flow effortlessly, making it easy for readers to get lost in the melodies and cadences of each poem. The author skillfully weaves intricate narratives, capturing the essence of each tale while maintaining the lyrical quality that is integral to ballads.

In Proud Signild and Other Ballads, Wise explores a wide range of themes, showcasing his versatility as a storyteller. Some ballads delve into the realms of mythology, taking readers on mythic adventures filled with gods, monsters, and fateful encounters. Others center around historical events, providing glimpses into bygone eras and offering new perspectives on familiar tales.

But it is the emotional depth that truly sets this collection apart. Through his vivid descriptions and well-crafted characters, Wise elicits a whirlwind of emotions in the reader. Joy, sorrow, love, and heartbreak resonate through the pages, leaving a lasting impact on the reader's psyche. Each ballad pulls at the heartstrings, creating a connection between the reader and the protagonists, no matter how distant in time or place they may be.

Furthermore, Thomas James Wise's attention to detail is commendable. The author paints a vivid picture of the settings, ensuring that readers feel fully immersed in the worlds he creates. From lush landscapes to dark and foreboding castles, each scene jumps off the page, captivating the imagination and instantly transporting the reader to another time and place.

One possible criticism could be directed towards the length of some ballads, as a few seem to drag on longer than necessary. However, this can be attributed to the genre itself, as ballads are known for their extensive narratives. Nevertheless, Wise's engaging storytelling and rich language still manage to hold the reader's attention, despite the occasional lulls.

Overall, Proud Signild and Other Ballads is a gripping and memorable collection that showcases the timeless beauty of the ballad genre. Thomas James Wise proves himself to be a master of poetic storytelling, breathing new life into traditional narratives. With its evocative imagery, emotional depth, and rich historical context, this anthology is sure to captivate lovers of poetry and lovers of tales alike.

First Page:




Copyright in the United States of America by Houghton , Mifflin & Co. for Clement Shorter .


Proud Signild’s bold brothers have taken her hand, They’ve wedded her into a far distant land.

They’ve wedded her far from her own native land, To her father’s foul murderer gave they her hand.

And so for eight winters the matter it stood, Their face for eight winters she never once view’d.

Proud Signild she brews, and the ruddy wine blends; To her brothers so courteous a bidding she sends.

Sir Loumor then laughed to his heart’s very core— Not once had he laughed for eight winters before.

To the top of the castle proud Signild she goes, And thence she so many a wistful look throws.

And now she perceives down the green hillock’s side Her seven bold brothers so furiously ride.

Proud Signild she stands on the castle’s high peak, She hears in the courtyard her seven brothers speak... Continue reading book >>

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