Like the swan and turtle dove

Today’s dVerse challenge is to write a poem in ‘common meter’ which is more or less the ballad-style meter I am very fond of using.


The tide was running high that night,

The moon was hanging low,

We walked the cliffs by starlight,

And sunset’s ling’ring glow.


I gave my heart to you love,

And you told me you’d be true,

Like the swan and turtle dove

I gave my love to you.


But you left me on the morrow,

At the ebb tide sailed away,

You left me only sorrow

That grows deeper every day.


Should you come sailing back, love,

To find me waiting here for you,

With the swan and turtle dove,

I’ll have flown to pastures new.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

18 thoughts on “Like the swan and turtle dove”

  1. Nice use of common meter. The ending was also enjoyable. One often expects ballads to be a bit sentimental. Sometimes that’s entertaining, but so is the more realistic ending like the one you provided.

    1. Thanks Frank 🙂 I imagine when most ballads were written, women didn’t have much possibility of making a happy ending for themselves. No economic independence and all the stigma. It’s pleasant, as you say, to be able to make a different ending.

  2. I know you love this ballad style, Jane! I like the combination of romance and realism–and that “well, I showed you” at the end. 🙂 I hope she found true love.

    1. Thank you, Björn! I love the effect of the moonlight on the water in this painting, and you’re right, in these kind of poems there’s often either the flow of water in the meter or horses galloping.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s