The Ballad of Bethany Hilliard – a poem

Hi everyone,

I’d like to present my new poem, The Ballad of Bethany Hilliard. I’ve never written a ballad before and I found the structure quite nice to work with. I wanted to create a tragic story along the lines of The Highwayman or Noble Gelert. When I came upon this image during an English lesson I was doing in Year 6, an idea formed in my mind. The beautiful image that inspired this poem came from Pobble365, submitted by someone called Frank Gustrau on


I hope you like it.

The Ballad of Bethany Hilliard

Shards lay splintered on the ground,

The mirror was no more.

Full years of emptiness and pain,

Were all that Bethany saw.

Not like the morn when all was fine,

And she awoke in bed.

With freedom and the dreams of life,

Abound within her head.

For ’twas her best friend’s wedding day,

And she the maid of honour.

Barely a hint of doubt had she,

Of the groom; one Sean O’Connor.

Long ago in Bethany’s teens,

A passionate night they’d known.

But that was lost in time’s dark mists,

A fancy she’d outgrown.

Now Sean pledged to her true friend,

A match that all approved.

His show of deep fidelity,

Was since forever proved.

Bethany dressed then hastened to church,

To see the vows confirmed.

Champagne flowed and music played,

And in her seat she squirmed.

For feelings Beth could not deny,

Resurfaced in her mind.

And envy in its dark green cloak,

Brought her to thoughts unkind.

This man she’d known and long since lost,

Sparkled for her anew.

His flashing grin and tailored suit,

Her reason overthrew.

Speeches done and bouquet hurled,

She fled the happy scene.

And to the attic then withdrew,

Resentment full and keen.

Drafty space bereft of warmth,

Nary a comfort there.

Hot tears traversed her twisted face,

Mascara scarred her stare.

And in the depths of her despair,

A mirror she espied.

Curiously placed, an antique thing,

Yet to its glass she hied,

Her braided hair and ruined face,

Mocked her as she glared.

Pathetic figure she’d become,

And how her temper flared.

Lashing out with new found rage,

The polished glass she struck.

And ripples spread throughout the pane,

To rectify her luck.


When yet the glass regained its shape,

She saw herself transformed.

A gleaming dress of perfect white,

Her finger gold-adorned.

Splendid now in bride’s attire,

To ballroom then she rushed.

And o’er crowds of well-wishers,

Happily she gushed.

Her groom, that fine Sean O’Connor,

She found her place beside.

And for some moments she was glad,

That seat to just reside.

But as the evening tarried on,

A sickly feeling grew.

For this fell man whose ring she wore,

Was one she barely knew.

His eyes they carried little warmth,

His countenance was fierce.

And in his words for her, his bride,

Were daggers that did pierce.

Years had made him hard and grim,

The marriage bore no love.

‘Twas a mere financial ploy,

Blessed not by God above.


The room she searched for friendly eyes,

For one that she might tell.

Of how her life was redesigned,

From heaven into hell.


And looking then her friend she saw,

The one whose place she’d taken.

She seemed to hurry from the place,

Full glass of wine forsaken.

Bethany started and followed close,

As up the stairs she ran.

She left behind the wedding guests,

And Sean; her wedded man.


Reaching the attic, a crash she heard,

A sound that made her shake.

And there, her friend, high heel in hand,

The mirror tried to break.

She drove the pointed heel with force,

And Bethany she screamed.

The mirror shattered horribly,

With all that she had dreamed.


  Her friend’s full laugh, it tore her heart,

Sure cleaved her mind in two.

That this a selfish, final deed,

She never could undo.


Tethered then for all her life,

To that repugnant man.

Her new reality it dawned,

And how the tears they ran.


Shards lay splintered on the ground,

The mirror was no more.

Full years of emptiness and pain,

Were all that Bethany saw.


Thanks for reading. You can find more of my poems by clicking the links below. Please subscribe to see more in the future…


Chord Progression – a poem

Slouching Towards Diabetes – a poem

Summer Haze – a poem

Origami – a poem

What the Haiku – Twin Peaks – New Year Special

In the Rough – a poem

Soft Play – a poem

Face in the Ceiling – a poem

Boys They’ll Stay – a poem

Slide – a poem about despair

The Scene Within – a poem

Climb – a poem for my son


9 thoughts on “The Ballad of Bethany Hilliard – a poem

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