In high school English class, I was taught that a ballad has a certain rhythm. Each verse or stanza is short and there are usually four lines. Each line is made up of stressed and unstressed syllables. I usually call them short (unstressed) and long (stressed) since the word long gets more emphasis when you say it than does the word short.
If you read the first line of the poem with a little bit of emphasis you might be able to feel the rhythm of that line: short, long, short, long, short, long, short, long.
The next line is shorter. Its rhythm is short, long, short, long, short, long.
The last two lines in the stanza or verse have the same rhythm as the first two.
Sometimes I draw the rhythm I want by using the “v” to represent the short, unstressed syllable and the “/” to represent the long, stressed syllable. For the first verse of the poem “O’er and O’er” that drawing would look like this:
Check to see if each of the other verses or the poem are done the same way. They should be.
A ballad also rhymes at the end of some of the lines. In “O’er and O’er” the second and fourth lines rhyme.
The writing prompt is for you to take a very short story you have written before (unless you want to write a new very short story). Then turn that story into a ballad or poem using the same rhythm and rhyme patterns in “O’er and O’er.”