Water Ballad is simply a long song composed by S.T.Coleridge. It is a ballad as it tells a tale that appeals to the emotions of the reader.
Like all love stories , the poem has two characters. One is a young maiden and the other is a sailor. The young maiden wants to cross the stream. The sailor in keen to take her across the river. The sailor is polite and courteous guide. He allows the young maiden to sit in his boat.
The maiden is greatly impressed by his sweet manners and falls in love with him. The boatman too begins to like him. The sailor takes courage to propose to her. At the end of journey he askes her if the could dare to demand her hand. The maiden does not give a frank reply but tells him,"A maiden 's head can never so hard a point decide!.
She indirectly gives her consent consent by saying "I'd have thee on my side" . The marriage takes place as the poet puts in:.
The happy bradal over,
The wanderer ceased to roam,
For seated by her lover,
The boat became her home"
The young maiden gets her destination . The boat and the water assume a very different meaning. Seen in this way, the boat becomes the symbol of human life and two of them stand for mankind. The running water of the river symbolises the permanent flow of time. The poem can also be taken as a parable of human life.
The poet wants to convey the message that men and women as husband and wife are great partners to face the pains and sorrows life togathers.