Chant Royal Poetry Form

A French poetic form and variation of the ballad form,
it consists of five (or three) 11-line stanzas
(there are variations, and some sources allow 8-16 lines)
and an envoi of 5 or 7 lines. The meter is not determined.
Each line should be of the same length.  The form uses a refrain at the end of each stanza and the end of the envoi.
The rhyme scheme is
 ababccddedE with ccddedE or ddedE for the envoi.
The poet may aim to avoid repeating a rhyme word throughout the poem’s length. The form is traditionally used for
stately or heroic subjects.
The envoi  traditionally addresses a “Prince”.
Have seen in both in Tetrameter and Pentameter so take your choice.
Related forms: Ballade, Ballade StanzaBallade Supreme, Double Ballade, Canzone II, Chanso, Double Ballade Supreme, Double Refrain Ballade, Double Refrain Ballade Supreme, Grand Ballade or Chant Royal.

Example Poem
Foolish Quests (Chant Royal) (Version 2)
I wooed and won a girl more bold than I.
She led the way, resolving mutual lust.
She urged my hand to feel her velvet thigh
and revel in the softness of her bust.
In focused fascination we’d convene
in what without our love might seem obscene.
A call to duty meant I had to leave;
to think she’d wait would simply be naive.
I married her and bound her with my name
For each of us, out minds now felt relieved.
The future will be what our now became.
I sought success and things success could buy
A house, a boat, income that one could trust.
The babies came, we didn’t have to try,
and diligence at work became my thrust.
I placed my love in virtual quarantine
and let my chase for money intervene.
My wife, neglected home alone, felt peeved;
her urges, often times, I’d not perceived.
Her burning passion rose above a game
and my ineptness she could not believe.
The future will be what our now became.
Her figure beckoned, pleasing to the eye
her manner teased and oft left men non-plussed,
but when she chose, she’d exit with a guy,
and quenched a thirst we’d really not discussed.
My toiling for a future still unseen
had painted me as coldly philistine.
Forsaking beauty that we might have weaved
my tunnel-vision left us both aggrieved.
I thought she knew my love remained the same,
(I should have worn my heart upon my sleeve).
The future will be what our now became.
Oh Prince! prithee, praise, please, and bliss your queen
and growl in lust should she show sultry mien.
One’s love needs nurturing to be believed,
with passion often given and received.
Mere years ought not allow your spark to tame;
it’s grand what frequent ardor can achieve.
The future will be what our now became.
© Lawrence Eberhart – Feb 1, 2016
Visual Template
3-Stanza, pentameter version


Foolish Quests (Chant Royal) (Version 4)

We both were under Hebe’s*sway
the day I took a slight detour
and found a road-side hide-away
where she was their delight du jure.
Her ample bust and winsome smile
made eating there each day worthwhile.
Curvaceousness was her domain;
testosterone’s a young man’s bane .
Our fascination thereby excused
her repartee was our champagne.
A future’s bought with minutes used.
With her I had fun things to say
I teased and told her jokes galore
we both enjoyed the interplay.
My friend said, “I think you can score.”
Without a scheme and lacking guile
I doubted that, that’s not my style.
The notion was almost profane
that surely was not my campaign
of such you must be disabused.
We simply flirted while we schmoozed.
A future’s bought with minutes used.
‘Ere long I brought her a bouquet
since we’d established great rapport;
she thought a date would be okay
her “Yes.” set my young heart to soar.
With tactics measured to beguile
she put to me a carnal trial;
I certainly would not abstain
nor did my consciousness complain;
we neither of us felt misused
not once or twice or yet again.
A future’s bought with minutes used.
To bind her so she would not stray,
when Navy sent me from this shore
we wed before I went away;
we were betrothed forevermore.
Though often gone for quite a while,
my need to serve, we’d reconcile.
To propagate, we both were fain
so mostly pregnant she’d remain.
when children came we were enthused.
(The husband doesn’t feel the pain.)
A future’s bought with minutes used.
The creed caused her dismay;
(I worked all day, then worked some more
to business greed I’d fallen prey
but then it seemed a needed chore.)
I thought my effort to stockpile
more cash and toys was nothing vile.
A loss of passion was no gain,
so she sought out another swain
to take that which I’d disabused.
(Which here and now, I can explain.)
A future’s bought with minutes used.
The queen, the king must not exile,
a part of love must be tactile.
To strive for gold’s to strive in vain
when you have love and lust to reign
and even if you’re not accused
relationships will still be bruised.
A future’s bought with minutes used.
© Lawrence Eberhart – February 5, 2016
Reworked with assistance from
Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
Iambic Tetrameter Visual Template
chant royal3

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