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Anonymous, Bonny Barbara Allan. By: Emily Amaro. Bonny Barbara Allan By Anonymous. Oh, in the merry month of May, When all things were a-blooming, Sweet William came from the western states And courted Barbara Allan. But he took sick, and very sick

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bonny barbara allan by anonymous
Bonny Barbara AllanBy Anonymous

Oh, in the merry month of May,

When all things were a-blooming,

Sweet William came from the western states

And courted Barbara Allan.

But he took sick, and very sick

And he sent for Barbara Allan,

And all she said when she got there,

“Young man, you are a-dying.”

“Oh, yes I’m sick, and I’m very sick,

And I think the death’s upon me;

But one sweet kiss from Barbara's lips

Will save me from my dying.”

“But don’t you remember the other day

You were down in town a-drinking?

You drank your health to the ladies all around,

And slighted Barbara Allan.”

bonny barbara allan continued
Bonny Barbara Allan Continued…

“Oh yes, I remember the other day

I was down in town a-drinking;

I drank my health to all the ladies all ‘round.

But my love to Barbara Allan.”

He turned his face to the wall;

She turned her back upon him;

The very last word she heard him say,

“Hardhearted Barbara Allan.”

She then passed on through London Town,

She heard some bells a-ringing,

And every bell, it seemed to say,

“Hardhearted Barbara Allan.”

bonny barbara allan cont
Bonny Barbara Allan Cont…

She then passed on to the country road,

And heard some birds a-singing;

And every bird, it seemed to say,

“Hardhearted Barbara Allan.”

She hadn’t got more than a mille from town

When she saw his corpse a-coming;

“O bring him here, and ease him down,

And let me look upon him.”

“Oh, take him away! Oh, take him away!

For I am sick and dying!

His death-cold features say to me,

‘Hardhearted Barbara Allan.’”

bonny barbara allan cont5
Bonny Barbara Allan Cont…

“O Father, O Father, go dig my grave,

And dig it long and narrow;

Sweet William died for me today;

I’ll die for him tomorrow.”

They buried them both in the old graveyard,

All side and side each other.

A red, red rose grew out of his grave,

And a green briar out of hers.

They grew and grew so very high

That they could grow no higher;

They lapped, they tied in a truelove knot

The rose ran ‘round the briar.

bonny barbara allan theme
Bonny Barbara Allan Theme

Poems have different central themes. Many have guilt and forgiveness in their poems. They even show real life situations that have guilt and forgiveness to help readers understand life and the meaning of the poem. In Bonny Barbara Allan, by Anonymous guilt and forgiveness make humans weak through conflict, symbol, and irony.

the conflict
The Conflict
  • In Bonny Barbara Allan, the conflict is when William becomes very ill and is wanting to see his truelove, Barbara Allan. When she comes to see him, she believes that she is having a hangover from drinking the night before. William’s last words to her was “Hardhearted Barbara Allan.” Barbara Allan begins to feel guilty because all around her she hears “Hardhearted Barbara Allan,” from the bells and the birds, anything that surrounds her. When she sees William again she is in despair and decides to do a deed for William in return by dying for him. In the end they are buried together and a rose from William's grave starts to grow around their graves in a true love knot as forgiveness from William.
  • Guilt and forgiveness makes humans weak through conflict.
  • In the poem Barbara Allan is feeling guilty from how she acted when William died.
conflict cont
Conflict Cont…
  • Also in the poem, the writer uses objects and animals to resolve the conflict that Barbara Allan created.
  • Stanza 7: She then passed on through London Town

She heard some bells a-ringing,

and every bell, it seemed to say,

“Hardhearted Barbara Allan.”

  • The writer used bells as they

were ringing, but Barbara Allan kept hearing

“Hardhearted Barbara Allan,” as if they were

saying it.

Stanza 8: And heard some birds a-singing; and every bird, it seemed to say, “Hardhearted Barbara Allan.” The writer is also using birds to help make her more guilty and how she caused the conflict from being hardhearted.

the conflict9
The Conflict
  • Barbara Allan is saying that William is not dying. He just had too much to drink the night before. She does not believe he is dying.
  • William is so heart broken because his loved one is not as sympathetic of him being and ill and dying. So, his last words to her were, “Hardhearted Barbara Allan.”
  • So, she becomes guilty from those last words and all she hears is those last words over and over again until she could not take it anymore. She then decides to die for William as forgiveness.
  • Barbara Allan’s remark on drinking was the cause of William's last words and also the cause of her guilt after William’s death.
symbol
Symbol
  • Symbol is when an person, place or thing stands out for itself and something beyond itself. In Bonny Barbara Allan, there are symbols throughout the poem that prove how guilt and forgiveness make humans weak.
  • In stanza 7: She then passed on through London Town,

She heard some bells a-ringing,

And every bell, it seemed to say,

“Hardhearted Barbara Allan.”

  • Bells are instruments that make sound from ringing. In the poem it symbolizes Barbara Allan’s conscience and making her feel guilty through the bell’s ringing and to her it seems to say “Hardhearted Barbara Allan.” As a result of her lack of compassion or being mean and cold to William, she is becoming guilty and hearing those words all around her.
symbol continued
Symbol Continued…
  • The writer did not only use bells as Barbara Allan’s conscience, but the writer used animals. In this poem the writer used birds.
  • In stanza 8 it says:

She then passed on to the country road,

And heard some birds a-singing;

And every bell, it seemed to say,

“Hardhearted Barbara Allan.”

  • In the poem birds symbolize Barbara’s guilt of she acted in front of William before he died. While the birds are singing, Barbara Allan’s hearing “Hardhearted Barbara Allan,” as if they were saying through their singing.
symbol12
Symbol
  • In the poem, the writer not only writes about Barbara Allan’s guilt, but also writes about William’s forgiveness even though he is dead.
  • In stanza 11 and 13: They buried them both in the old graveyard,

All side and side each other.

A red, red rose grew out of his grave,

And a green briar out of hers.

They grew and grew so very high

That they could grow no higher;

They lapped, they tied in a truelove knot

The rose ran ‘round the briar.

  • Since Barbara Allan was so guilty, she decided to die for William. Once she was dead. They were buried next to each other. On William’s grave their was a red rose and on her grave there was a green briar.
symbol cont
Symbol Cont…
  • William was now able to forgive her because he realized that

Barbara Allan was guilty before and how she died for him. He

forgives her by his red rose and her green briar.

  • The red rose means love. In the poem, the red rose symbolizes forgiveness. Barbara Allan had died for William as forgiveness of what she had done. William is compassionate to forgive her by growing his rose bigger and bigger. The rose and the briar had tied into a love knot that symbolized truelove and that they will always be together even in the after life.
  • In the end of the poem after all the guilt and the conflicts, William was able to forgive Barbara and as a sign of forgiveness the rose and the briar came together as one.
irony
Irony
  • In Bonny Barbara Allan, there is irony.
  • In stanza 5: “Oh yes, I remember the other day

I was down in town a-drinking;

I drank my health to all the ladies all ‘round.

But my love to Barbara Allan.”

  • William was drinking the night before, and was drinking to his health and to his dear Barbara Allan. Its ironic because he drinks to his health and the next day, he dies.
  • This is verbal irony because he was drinking to his health when in reality he was drinking to his death that would occur the next day.
irony continued
Irony Continued…
  • In the poem, after William’s death Barbara Allan is felling guilty of how she acted before he died. She starts to “Hardhearted Barbara Allan” everywhere she went. She soon could not take it anymore. So she dies the next day for William.
  • Its ironic because William had died and

because of her guilt she ends up dying

the next day.

  • This is situational irony because she ended up

dying for William when all she heard around her

was, “Hardhearted Barbara Allan.” Her

conscience caused her to go over the edge

and die. Its not what the reader would expect

which makes it ironic.

structural analysis
Structural Analysis
  • Number of stanzas: 13
  • Number of lines: 52
  • This poem is narrative because its telling a story of two lovers end up dying through a number of events.
  • Rhyme Scheme: There is only rhyme scheme found in two stanzas.
  • Stanza 9: She hadn’t got more than a mille from town A

When she saw his corpse a-coming; B

“O bring him here, and ease him down, A

And let me look upon him.” C

structural analysis17
Structural Analysis
        • Stanza 13:They grew and grew so very high A

That they could grow no higher; B

They lapped, they tied in a truelove knot C

The rose ran ‘round the briar. B

  • Meter: Between trimeter and tetrameter
  • Example: Oh, in the merry month of May,

When all things were a-blooming, Sweet William came from the western states

And courted Barbara Allan.

structural analysis cont
Structural Analysis Cont…
  • Onomatopoeia: the use of a word whose sound irritates or meaning.
    • Examples:
      • Stanza 7 line 26: She heard some bells a–ringing.
      • The writer used bells and used its ringing to make Barbara Allan more guilty.
  • Alliteration: the of the same or similar consonant sounds in words that are close together.
    • Examples:
    • Stanza 11, line 41: OFather,OFather, go dig my grave.
    • Stanza 12, lines 46 and 47: All side and side each other

A red,redrose grew out of the grave.

    • Stanza 13, lines 49 and 52: They grew and grew so very high

The roseran ‘round the briar.

structural analysis19
Structural Analysis
  • This particular poem is a folk ballad.
  • What is a folk ballad?
  • A folk ballad is a story past down orally from generation to generation and often tells tales of true love of domestic violence. Folk ballads are also a story that are told in song. They even have a refrain (whole lines repeated at regular intervals.)
    • In Bonny Barbara Allan, In stanza 6, 7, 8, and 10 the last line in the stanzas is “Hardhearted Barbara Allan.”
criticism
Criticism
  • This poem is originated in Scotland. Bonny Barbara Allan in particular came to America in the 18th century.
  • The Scots-Irish had settled in the Appalachia Mountains.
  • Appalachian music are based on Celtic folk music. The songs were usually sung by women.
  • The ballads were from British tradition and single narrative.
      • Website: http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/appalach.htm
  • Through the passing down of ballads the Scotts-Irish would sometimes change the words and its tune.
  • There is more English and Scottish ballads from the 12th to 16th century.
  • The subject to the ballad varies and most popular is the romantic Bonny Barbara Allan.
      • Website: http://www.factmonster.com/ce6/ent/A0856822.html
criticism21
Criticism
  • The reason why Bonny Barbara Allan has a writer that is anonymous because its past down from singer to singer.
  • Ballad poets would get their ideas from real life, history and legends. The ballad would usually be about adventure, danger, love, death, violence, betrayal and the supernatural. In Bonny Barbara Allan it is about, love, death, guilt and forgiveness.
      • http://mn.essortment.com/literaryballads_rmsz.htm
  • They used the ballads were used for story telling.
      • Website: http://www.roadside.org/pressreleases.html
bonny barbara allan conclusion
Bonny Barbara Allan Conclusion

In Bonny Barbara Allan By Anonymous, guilt and forgiveness make humans weak through the conflict, symbol and irony.Bonny Barbara Allan, was a poem about love, death, guilt and forgiveness. Poets use guilt and forgiveness in their poems all the time and show how weak humans are. Guilt and forgiveness is a theme for many poems and will be used for a long time.