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Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...
, a Ballad stanza
is the four-line stanza, known as a quatrain, most often found in the folk ballad
A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads were particularly characteristic of British and Irish popular poetry and song from the later medieval period until the 19th century and used extensively across Europe and later the Americas, Australia and North Africa. Many...
. This form consists of alternating four- and three-stress lines. Usually only the second and fourth lines rhyme (in an a/b/c/b pattern). Assonance
Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds to create internal rhyming within phrases or sentences, and together with alliteration and consonance serves as one of the building blocks of verse. For example, in the phrase "Do you like blue?", the is repeated within the sentence and is...
in place of rhyme is common. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla...
adopted the ballad stanza in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and was published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 that featured a gloss...
alternating eight and six syllable lines.
- All in a hot and copper sky!
- The bloody Sun, at noon,
- Right up above the mast did stand,
- No bigger than the Moon.
- Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, lines 111 – 114
The longer first and third lines are rarely rhymed, although at times poets may use internal rhyme
In poetry, internal rhyme, or middle rhyme, is rhyme that occurs in a single line of verse.Internal rhyme occurs in the middle of a line, as exemplified by Coleridge, "In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud" or "Whiles all the night through fog-smoke white," in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." ...
in these lines.
- In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
- It perched for vespers nine;
- Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
- Glimmered the white Moon-shine.
- Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, lines 75 – 78