Example Copy

This type of poem is called an enclosed poem because the first and last line of each stanza have the same rhyme and “enclose” the two middle lines—which share the same rhyme with each other. Check out this poem by the English Victorian poet, Matthew Arnold, called Shakespeare, which follows the enclosed rhyme scheme:

Others abide our question. Thou art free.

We ask and ask—Thou smilest and art still,

Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,

Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty,

Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,

Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place,

Spares but the cloudy border of his base

To the foil’d searching of mortality;

And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,

Self-school’d, self-scann’d, self-honour’d, self-secure,

Didst tread on earth unguess’d at.—Better so!

All pains the immortal spirit must endure,

All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow,

Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.

Don’t worry about understanding every word of this poem–just take note of the rhyme scheme that you will be including in your own piece.

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