Enclosed rhyme

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Enclosed rhyme (or enclosing rhyme) is the rhyme scheme ABBA (that is, where the first and fourth lines, and the second and third lines rhyme). Enclosed-rhyme quatrains are used in introverted quatrains, as in the first two stanzas of Petrarchan sonnets.


How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, A
Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year! B
My hasting days fly on with full career B
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th. A
(From John Milton: "Sonnet VII")[1]

"Exposure", by Wilfred Owen,[2] also has a good example of enclosed rhyme. Each of the eight stanzas have the ABBA half rhyming sequence:

Our brains ache in the merciless iced east winds that knive us ... A
Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent ... B
Low, drooping flares confuse our memories of the salient ... B
Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous, A
But nothing happens.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Milton, "The poetical works of John Milton, Sonet VII", Project Guetenburg, 1908
  2. ^ Wilfred Owen, "Poems by Wilfred Owen, Exposure", Project Guetenburg, 1918