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Ballads: 'Mariana' by Alfred Lord Tennyson

In this worksheet, students develop their understanding of poetry by reading 'Mariana' by Alfred Lord Tennyson and working on the ballad form.

'Ballads: 'Mariana' by Alfred Lord Tennyson' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Reading

Curriculum subtopic:   Understand Meaning

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

This worksheet is based on a ballad called 'Mariana' (1830) by the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. A ballad is a poem that tells a story. This poem tells the story of a lady called Mariana who lives alone. Read the ballad and then answer the questions.

 

 

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Mariana

 

With blackest moss the flower-plots

    Were thickly crusted, one and all:

The rusted nails fell from the knots

    That held the pear to the gable-wall.

The broken sheds look'd sad and strange:

    Unlifted was the clinking latch;

    Weeded and worn the ancient thatch

Upon the lonely moated grange.

        She only said, 'My life is dreary,

            He cometh not,' she said;

        She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

            I would that I were dead!'

 

Her tears fell with the dews at even;

    Her tears fell ere the dews were dried;

She could not look on the sweet heaven,

    Either at morn or eventide.

After the flitting of the bats,

    When thickest dark did trance the sky,

    She drew her casement-curtain by,

And glanced athwart the glooming flats.

        She only said, 'The night is dreary,

            He cometh not,' she said;

        She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

            I would that I were dead!'

 

Upon the middle of the night,

    Waking she heard the night-fowl crow:

The cock sung out an hour ere light:

    From the dark fen the oxen's low

Came to her: without hope of change,

    In sleep she seem'd to walk forlorn,

    Till cold winds woke the gray-eyed morn

About the lonely moated grange.

        She only said, 'The day is dreary,

            He cometh not,' she said;

        She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

            I would that I were dead!'

 

About a stone-cast from the wall

    A sluice with blacken'd waters slept,

And o'er it many, round and small,

    The cluster'd marish-mosses crept.

Hard by a poplar shook alway,

    All silver-green with gnarled bark:

    For leagues no other tree did mark

The level waste, the rounding gray.

        She only said, 'My life is dreary,

            He cometh not,' she said;

        She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

            I would that I were dead!'

 

And ever when the moon was low,

    And the shrill winds were up and away,

In the white curtain, to and fro,

    She saw the gusty shadow sway.

But when the moon was very low,

    And wild winds bound within their cell,

    The shadow of the poplar fell

Upon her bed, across her brow.

        She only said, 'The night is dreary,

            He cometh not,' she said;

        She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,

            I would that I were dead!'

 

All day within the dreamy house,

    The doors upon their hinges creak'd;

The blue fly sung in the pane; the mouse

    Behind the mouldering wainscot shriek'd,

Or from the crevice peer'd about.

    Old faces glimmer'd thro' the doors,

    Old footsteps trod the upper floors,

Old voices call'd her from without.

        She only said, 'My life is dreary,

            He cometh not,' she said;

        She said, 'I am aweary, aweary,'

            I would that I were dead!'

 

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,

    The slow clock ticking, and the sound

Which to the wooing wind aloof

    The poplar made, did all confound

Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

    When the thick-moted sunbeam lay

    Athwart the chambers, and the day

Was sloping toward his western bower.

        Then, said she, 'I am very dreary,

            He will not come,' she said;

        She wept, 'I am aweary, aweary,

            O God, that I were dead!'

 

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