Thursday, 3 October 2019


                     A BALLAD OF SIR PARTAB SINGH

Enjoying the Poem:

1. Rewrite the poem 'A Ballad of Sir Pertab Singh' in prose (one sentence for each stanza)
Ans.  1. An Englishman who was a solider, came to meet Sir Pertab Singh.
1.     This ruler of Jodhpur and the soldier became very close friends.
2.     They rode together every day and praised, wars fought for a good cause.
3.     They talked about their love-affairs with women, but praised, above all, the life of a soldier.
4.     One day the English soldier passed away.
5.     They out his dead body in a coffin and closed its lid.
6.     There were only three men who belonged to his race and creed, but four were needed as pall-bearers.
7.     Sir Pertab Singh was advised to send a sweeper as the fourth pall-bearer as he had no caste to lose.
8.     The ruler of Jodhpur said he had no caste to lose and he would be the fourth pall-bearer.
9.     He was warned that he would lose his caste and never get it back again.
10.                        He said he and God knew what he had lost.
11.                        He became one of the pall-bearers as all Jodhpur was watching the funeral procession.
12.                        Next morning a priest came to say something to Sir Pertab Singh.
13.                        The visitor was a Brahmin who bowed to the ruler of Jodhpur.
14.                        He told Partab Singh that something terrible had happened the previous day in Jodhpur.
15.                        The ruler’s reply was that there could be nothing more terrible than the loss of his soldier friend.
16.                         The visitor said that he had lost his caste, and that was a terrible loss.
17.                        Sir Partab Singh told the priest that he never knew what caste meant.
18.                        There is a caste that is superior to the caste, of the Brahmin and the Rajput (the ruling class).
19.                        This is the caste of all noble people and it is a free and pure caste of a soldier.

2.. Write a summary of the poem 'A Ballad of Sir Pertab Singh' in your own words?

3. What is the central idea of the poem 'A Ballad of Sir Pertab Singh'?
Ans. The caste system creates divisions in society. It is very harmful. We should rise above considerations of caste, colour and creed. The law of equality and brotherhood is very important in our life. Humanity is the only true caste. This is the central idea of this poem.

1.     Who was Sir Pertab Singh?
Ans. Sir Pertab Singh was a ruler of Jodhpur. He lived in the Rose-red House. For him, friendship was very important and the caste of a soldier was the only true caste.

2.     Why did he immediately like the English soldier?
Ans. Pertab Singh had risen above narrow caste system. He believed that the caste of a solider was the only true caste. He found that like him, the English solider, too, was a true solider. So he immediately liked this young English solider.

3.     How did the two comrades spend their days?
Ans.   The two comrades rode their horses and went out of the Rose-red house together. They told each other stories of their love for women. Thus, they spent their days happily.

7. Why was Pertab Singh asked to send a sweeper when the English soldier died?
Ans.  In Jodhpur, there was three men of the soldier’s race and creed. A fourth person needed to carry the bier of the English solider.

4.     What was the problem that arose when the Englishman died?
Ans.   A fourth man was needed to carry the bier. But no high-caste person was ready to do this job. This was the problem when the Englishman died.

5.     What, according to the priests, had Pertab Singh lost? Why?
Ans.  According to the priest, Partab Singh had lost his high caste. It was regarded as a priceless thing. Religion did not allow him to carry the bier of an Englishman. He flouted the set norms of the caste-system and thus, lost his caste.

6.     A ballad is a long narrative poem which tells a simple story.

10.. Read some other famous ballads. You can choose from:

(i) The Ballad of Father Gilligan by W.B. Yeats.

(ii) A Diverting History of John Gilpin by William Cowper.

(iii) Robin Hood and Allen-A-Dale (Anonymous)

11. Have you noticed that in some stanzas the first line rhymes with the third while in some others, the second line rhymes with the fourth line? Study these rhyming lines carefully.
Ans. 1.The following are the stanzas in which the first line rhymes with the third.
3rd; here the rhymes is repeated in the third line.

Ans. 2. In the following stanzas the second line rhymes with the fourth.

1.     Write a small paragraph on Caste System (50-100 words)
Ans.  The caste- system was the brain child of a very wise person named Manu. He divided Hindu society in India into four castes. Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Different duties were assigned to these four castes. Brahmins were to be educators of people, and they were to give them religious lessons. Kshatriyas were to fight battles and protect the country from all dangers. Vaishyas were to carry on trade and look after the daily needs of people. Shudras were to do the work of cleaning and sweeping.

     In the beginning, this system was found useful in society for discharge of duties by the four castes. But with the passage of time, the upper classes misused their positions and status in society. They made the lower classes almost their slaves. Mahatma Gandhi raised his voice against this system. He gave the low-caste people an equal status.

     But the evil of this system still continues in our society. This system is bad and harmful. All human beings are equal to one another. The caste system that creates distinctions among people is a big evil which must go.

1. What is the central idea of the poem?

Ans:- The poem brings out the folly of the Hindu caste system. All men are equal in the eyes of God. No one is high or low by caste. Humanity is the only true caste. A caste that divides men from men can’t be called a true caste.

2. Write a summary of the poem in your own words.

Ans:- Pertab Singh was the king of Jodhpore. He had an English friend. Now he had died. But no one came forward to carry his bier. Pertab Singh himself came forward to carry the bier. He proved that humanity is the only true caste.


In the first year of him that first
Was emperor and king;
A rider came to the Rose-red House,
The house of Pertab Singh.

1. Name the poem and the poet.
Ans:- Poem_ A Ballad of Sir Pertab Singh
Poet_ Sir Henry Newbolt

2. Who came to Pertab Singh’s house?

Ans:- An English soldier came to Pertab Singh’s house.

3. What was the house called?

Ans:- The house was called the Rose-red house.

4. How long had Pertab Singh been the king?

Ans:- He was in the first year of his rule.


Beneath the morning stars they rode,
Beneath the evening sun,
And their blood sang to them as they rode
That all good wars are one.

1. Who were the riders?

Ans:- Pertab Singh and an English soldier.

2. How did he feel while riding together?

Ans:- He felt very brave and happy.

3. How did they feel about wars?

Ans:- They felt that all good wars are one.


Three were there of his race and creed,
Three only and no more:
They could not find to bear the dead
A fourth in all Jodhpore.

1. Whose race and creed has been referred to in these lines?

Ans:- The race and creed of the English soldier.

2. Who did they want to find and why?

Ans:- The fourth one to carry the bier.

3. Who was it that had died?
Ans:- It was the English soldier that had died.


‘What need, what need?
said Pertab Singh,
And bowed his princely head.
‘I have no caste, for I myself
Am bearing forth the dead.

1. What need does Pertab Singh refer to?

Ans:- It was the need of a fourth man to carry the bier.

2. Who came forward to carry the bier?

Ans:- Pertab Singh himself came forward to carry the bier.

3. Whose bier was it?

Ans:- It was the bier of the English soldier.


‘God only knows,’ said Pertab Singh,
‘That which I lose to-day:
And without me no hand of man,
Shall bear my friend away.’

1. Name the poem and the poet.

Ans:- Poem_ A Ballad of Sir Pertab Singh
Poet_ Sir Henry Newbolt

2. How did they feel over this loss?

Ans:- They felt very sad over this loss.

3. What did he decide to do?

Ans:- He decided to carry the bier himself.