It was a break with the old tradition, that was until the Victorian movement moved in and people, actions, outward morality and reason were more important. Poems such as ‘Porphyria’s Lover’ were written during the Victorian movement. One of the main differences between the two poems would be that Le Belle Dame Sans Merci is a ballad whereas Lochinvar uses rhyming couplets and archaic language. In addition Le Belle Dame Sans Merci could be described as being tragic and heart-rending where Lochinvar is the perfect fairytale with the idyllic ending.
Le Belle Dame Sans Merci can be considered a ballad because of its tragic content, the inclusion of a knight and the effective use of natural imagery. It is broken into four line stanzas as ballads usually are and a regular rhythm. Additionally each of the four line stanzas describes a separate incident in the poem, breaking it up into small, short scenes. Le Belle Dame Sans Merci rebels against being a ballad in a few ways. One of the most important being that it does not follow the expected rhyme scheme of A B A B; instead it goes A B C B.
Lochinvar is also written in the style of a ballad to some extent. It is more of a folk style of writing. Some examples of this would be when, ‘The bride kisses the goblet,’ and, ‘He stayed not for bracken, and he stopped not for stone. ‘ There is also some archaic language used, such as, ‘ere,’ ‘ye,’ ‘saith,’ ’twere better by far,’ and ‘quoth. ‘ Archaic language is generally used to crate a Scottish accent and emphasise medieval subject matter. The Scottish element supports the idea of the folk style of writing.
The rhyme scheme used in this poem is rhyming couplets adding a steady rhythm to the poem. There is also a small amount of natural imagery used. The story of Lochinvar tells a tale of a knight who goes and rescues the woman that he loves from her wedding. Lochinvar wants to get married to Ellen. Ellen has just been married but Lochinvar turns up at the wedding reception. It is clear that Lochinvar and Ellen are in love. They dance with each other at the wedding reception but Ellen’s mother and father are not at all pleased with this.
It is at this point that they run away together. Their families attempt to follow them. The main characters in Lochinvar would be Ellen and Lochinvar. Lochinvar is a Scottish Lord and Knight. He is very brave and bold. We know this because, ‘He rode all unarmed and, he rode all alone,’ also ‘He stopped not for break, and he stopped not for stone,’ and ‘He swan the Esk River where ford there was none. ‘ There is some speculation that he could be dangerous. We know that Ellen’s family is quite well off, the live at Netherby Hall. And Ellen’s parents do not approve of Lochinvar.