The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018
Ballade: A verse form that originated in medieval France consisting of three long stanzas (most commonly eight lines rhyming ababbcbc) and a concluding envoi (usually four lines rhyming bcbc) addressed to a patron or other important person. The last line of each stanza, including the envoi, is the same and serves as a refrain. The ballade was especially popular in the fourteenth century; however, its most famous practitioner was the fifteenth-century French poet François Villon. The nineteenth-century English Pre-Raphaelite poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti loosely translated some of these ballades, his most famous translation being of Villon’s “Ballade des dames du temps jadis” (“The Ballad of Dead Ladies”) (1489).