Poetry Rhyming Schemes: Examples

Written by Dan

Last updated

Do you love the sound of a good poem? The rhythms and rhymes woven together artfully like threads on canvas to create something beautiful, intricate, and meaningful.

If so, then believe us when we say that understanding poetry rhyming schemes is key to crafting verses that will captivate your audience.

This blog post is here to break down what exactly those know-it-all literary snobs mean by things like an ABAB scheme or imperfect rhyme scheme – don’t worry if it’s all sounding gibberish right now!

We’ll make sure you’re a master of poetry by the end of this post.

Related: For more, check out our page with 100s of Example Poems  here.

poetry rhymes

Common Poetry Rhyming Schemes:

  1. Alternate rhyme (ABAB): This scheme means you alternate between end sounds. For example, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (A) / Thou art more lovely and more temperate (B) / Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May (A) / And summer’s lease hath all too short a date (B).
  2. Couplet (AA): A couplet is a two-line stanza that rhymes. For example, “True wit is nature to advantage dressed / What oft was thought but ne’er so well expressed.”
  3. Enclosed rhyme (ABBA): This pattern is where the first and last lines rhyme and the second and third lines rhyme. An example would be, “Looking as if she were alive, I call (A) / That piece a wonder, now… (B) / Hell in the Heavens and Heaven in Hell (B) / Is but a magic shadow-show (A).”
  4. Monorhyme (AAAA): This is a poem or a stanza where every line has the same end rhyme. Here’s an example: “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan / A stately pleasure-dome decree / Where Alph, the sacred river, ran / Through caverns measureless to man.”
  5. Limerick (AABBA): Limericks have a specific form of five lines where the first, second, and fifth lines rhyme, while the third and fourth lines form a rhymed couplet.
  6. Sonnet (ABABCDCDEFEFGG): This is the rhyming scheme for a Shakespearean sonnet, with three quatrains (four lines each) and a final rhymed couplet.
  7. Terza rima (ABA BCB CDC, etc.): This scheme uses tercets, three line stanzas. Dante Alighieri first used it in The Divine Comedy.
  8. Quatrain (ABBA or ABAB): A quatrain is a stanza of four lines, usually with alternate rhymes.

Related: For more, check out our article on Poems Without Rhyme here.

Rhyme SchemeDescriptionExample in Poetry
Couplet (AA)Two consecutive lines that rhyme with each other.“The Tyger” by William Blake
Alternate (ABAB)Lines of poetry where every other line rhymes.“To Autumn” by John Keats
Enclosed (ABBA)A four-line stanza rhyming as the first and fourth lines rhyme with each other, as do the second and third.“In Memoriam A.H.H.” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Limerick (AABBA)A five-line stanza with a specific rhythm and rhyme scheme.Edward Lear’s limericks
Sonnet (Shakespearean: ABABCDCDEFEFGG)Fourteen lines with a specific rhyme scheme, ending in a rhymed couplet.“Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare
Sonnet (Petrarchan: ABBAABBACDCDCD)An octave followed by a sestet with a varying rhyme scheme in the sestet.“On His Being Arrived to the Age of Twenty-three” by John Milton
Terza Rima (ABA BCB CDC)A series of tercets with an interlocking rhyme scheme.“Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Ballad (ABCB)A narrative poem with a simple rhyme scheme.“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Villanelle (ABA ABA ABA ABA ABA ABAA)A nineteen-line poem with a highly structured rhyme scheme.“Do not go gentle into that good night” by Dylan Thomas
Ghazal (AA BA CA)A collection of couplets with a repeating rhyme and refrain.Traditional Middle Eastern and Indian ghazals

Examples of Alternate Rhyme (ABAB)

  1. “Life is but a fleeting dream (A)
    To ponder as we stand (B)
    Along the river’s gentle stream, (A)
    Footprints in the sand.” (B)
  2. “The moon was shining sulkily, (A)
    Because she thought the sun (B)
    Had got no business to be there (A)
    After the day was done.” (B) – Lewis Carroll
  3. “The sky so deep and wonderfully blue, (A)
    Today there is no cloud in sight, (B)
    Reflects in the ocean’s hue, (A)
    In waves, with the morning light.” (B)
  4. “In the quiet of the night, (A)
    Stars twinkle with all their might, (B)
    Bathing the world in silver light, (A)
    A truly spectacular sight.” (B)
  5. “The gentle whisper of the breeze, (A)
    Converses with the trees, (B)
    It carries secrets of the seas, (A)
    And sets the soul at ease.” (B)
  6. “A garden filled with sweet delight, (A)
    Blooms dancing in the morning light. (B)
    Colours bold and fragrances bright, (A)
    A feast for the senses, day and night.” (B)
  7. “Through fields of gold and forests green, (A)
    Walked a girl, not yet a queen. (B)
    Her heart was pure, her spirit keen, (A)
    The fairest maiden ever seen.” (B)
  8. “Underneath the old oak tree, (A)
    That’s where you will find me, (B)
    Lost in a book, wild and free, (A)
    In the company of a bumblebee.” (B)
  9. “The night is dark, the stars are bright, (A)
    The moon is giving a lovely light. (B)
    Everything seems just right, (A)
    As we dance in the cool of the night.” (B)
  10. “In the heart of the city’s hum and roar, (A)
    I long for the ocean’s calming shore. (B)
    Where waves crash and seagulls soar, (A)
    That’s where my spirit begins to restore.” (B)

Examples of Couplet (AA)

  1. “In the heart of winter’s frost so deep,
    Still, nature’s beauty makes me weep.”
  2. “Underneath the azure sky so bright,
    Dances the sunlight, pure and light.”
  3. “In fields of gold where poppies sway,
    I lose myself, I drift away.”
  4. “The moon above in silent glory hangs,
    Listening to the nightingale’s sweet songs.”
  5. “Through the quiet forest, a river flows,
    Carrying secrets nobody knows.”
  6. “Beneath the stars, two lovers kiss,
    Lost in a moment of perfect bliss.”
  7. “The waves crash against the distant shore,
    A symphony I’ve come to adore.”
  8. “In the eyes of a child, wonders unfold,
    A world of stories yet to be told.”
  9. “In the stillness of the night, so serene,
    The world reveals what’s seldom seen.”
  10. “With every sunset, rich and grand,
    I’m reminded of life’s shifting sand.”

Examples of Enclosed Rhyme (ABBA)

  1. “In the quiet of the morning light, (A)
    The world awakes from the still of night, (B)
    From the east to the west, a beautiful sight, (B)
    Bathed in hues of soft sunlight.” (A)
  2. “Beneath the moon’s gentle glow, (A)
    The city sleeps in the valley below, (B)
    A peaceful scene, a tranquil tableau, (B)
    Under the blanket of snow.” (A)
  3. “The forest whispers tales of old, (A)
    Of brave hearts and spirits bold, (B)
    In every leaf, stories are told, (B)
    Secrets in the green and gold.” (A)
  4. “In the heart of the bustling city’s din, (A)
    There’s a hidden garden, tucked within, (B)
    A peaceful sanctuary, a haven of Zen, (B)
    Amidst the chaos, a place of serenity unseen.” (A)
  5. “The ocean sings a lullaby so sweet, (A)
    Where the sky and the water meet, (B)
    A melody that’s hard to beat, (B)
    A symphony in every retreat.” (A)
  6. “In the depth of winter’s icy hold, (A)
    The world is bathed in hues of cold, (B)
    Yet in the silence, beauty unfolds, (B)
    A spectacle to behold.” (A)
  7. “Beyond the hills, where the sun sets low, (A)
    Lies a land where the wildflowers grow, (B)
    Bathed in the evening’s golden glow, (B)
    A paradise only dreamers know.” (A)
  8. “The stars above, in the night sky so clear, (A)
    Twinkle with a light so dear, (B)
    Guiding the lost, far and near, (B)
    Whispering, ‘Have no fear.'” (A)
  9. “In the heart of the desert, under the blazing sun, (A)
    Life is harsh, and comforts are none, (B)
    Yet, beauty thrives, undone, (B)
    In the land forgotten by everyone.” (A)
  10. “Underneath the old willow tree, (A)
    The river flows to the sea, (B)
    Carrying stories, wild and free, (B)
    In its journey to eternity.” (A)

Examples of Monorhyme (AAAA)

  1. “In the heart of the forest green,
    A world of wonders yet unseen.
    A paradise, serene and clean,
    Nature’s masterpiece, a dream.”
  2. “Underneath the starlit sky,
    Where dreams take flight and spirits fly.
    In the silence, you and I,
    Lost in time, as moments go by.”
  3. “The river flows with gentle grace,
    Reflecting the sky’s vast open space.
    In its mirror-like surface,
    The world finds its place.”
  4. “In the quiet of the night so deep,
    While the world is lost in sleep.
    Secrets the moon does keep,
    In her luminous, silver sweep.”
  5. “Beneath the sun’s golden glow,
    Where the wildflowers grow.
    The wind whispers low,
    Secrets only the heart can know.”
  6. “In the heart of winter’s frost,
    Where warmth and light seem lost.
    Yet, life pays the cost,
    Awaiting spring’s soft frost.”
  7. “Underneath the old oak tree,
    There’s a world for us to see.
    A place where we can be,
    Wild and free, just you and me.”
  8. “The ocean, vast and wide,
    With its powerful, surging tide.
    Secrets in its depths reside,
    Stories in its waves confide.”
  9. “In the city’s bustling street,
    Where different lives meet.
    Each story unique and replete,
    Life’s symphony in every beat.”
  10. “The mountains stand tall and grand,
    Overlooking the sprawling land.
    Timeless, they withstand,
    Nature’s art, so beautifully planned.”

Examples of Limerick (AABBA)

  1. “There once was a man from Kent, (A)
    Whose body was terribly bent. (A)
    He walked with a lean, (B)
    And was rarely seen, (B)
    Without his back being slightly dent.” (A)
  2. “A curious cat in a hat, (A)
    Chased after a mischievous rat. (A)
    They ran round and round, (B)
    Neither to be found, (B)
    Until they both ran into a bat.” (A)
  3. “A young girl with a magical flute, (A)
    Played melodies that were absolute. (A)
    She charmed every bird, (B)
    With every note heard, (B)
    Even the owl gave a hoot.” (A)
  4. “There was an old man from Peru, (A)
    Who dreamt he was eating his shoe. (A)
    He woke up at night, (B)
    With a terrible fright, (B)
    And found it was perfectly true.” (A)
  5. “A painter who lived in Great Britain, (A)
    Improved on his sketches by sittin’. (A)
    His art was sublime, (B)
    His subjects, prime time, (B)
    The critics were utterly smitten.” (A)
  6. “There once was a boy named Drew, (A)
    Who wanted to sail to Timbuktu. (A)
    In a boat made of sheets, (B)
    And some old beat-up cleats, (B)
    He set off under skies of blue.” (A)
  7. “A baker from sunny Spain, (A)
    Loved to dance in the rain. (A)
    With a twist and a twirl, (B)
    He gave it a whirl, (B)
    And baked his bread without any pain.” (A)
  8. “There was a young lady named Rose, (A)
    Who could touch her toes with her nose. (A)
    With a stretch and a bend, (B)
    And a twist at the end, (B)
    She put on quite the show, I suppose.” (A)
  9. “A writer who lived in a tower, (A)
    Wrote a book every hour. (A)
    With ink and quill, (B)
    He wrote with skill, (B)
    Words bloomed like a flower.” (A)
  10. “A chef from the town of Bree, (A)
    Cooked a stew spicy as could be. (A)
    With a dash and a sprinkle, (B)
    And a taste that would tingle, (B)
    It was loved by all, from land to sea.” (A)

Examples of Sonnet (ABABCDCDEFEFGG)

  1. “Upon a hill, beneath the summer’s sun, (A) I saw a sight that made my heart take flight. (B) A field of flowers, gold and purple spun, (A) Bathed in the day’s warm, gentle light. (B)
    The butterflies danced in the soft breeze, (C) The bees buzzed, busy in their sweet affair, (D) The world felt at ease beneath the trees, (C) In this moment, free from care. (D)
    To capture this scene, in words or in art, (E) Is a task no mortal could complete. (F) For such beauty, can only impart, (E) Feelings that are silently sweet. (F)
    Yet, in this attempt, I find delight, (G) In nature’s embrace, everything feels right.” (G)
  2. “In the heart of the city’s bustling crowd, (A) Amidst the noise, loud and proud, (B) There’s a silence to be found, (A) A tranquility that’s profound. (B)
    In the rhythm of the street’s beat, (C) Where different lives meet, (D) Stories unfold, bittersweet, (C) In every alley and every concrete. (D)
    The city, with its towering height, (E) Shimmers in the moon’s silver light. (F) A sight that fills the night, (E) With a magic that feels right. (F)
    In this urban sprawl, I find my peace, (G) In its chaos, I find release.” (G)

Examples of Terza Rima (ABA BCB CDC, etc.)

  1. “Upon a hill beneath the summer sky, (A) Where wildflowers bloom with colors bright, (B) I watch as time just seems to fly. (A)
    Bright butterflies take their flight, (B) Dancing in the day’s warm light, (C) A sight that fills me with pure delight. (B)
    Light kisses from the sun so bright, (C) As the breeze whispers a lullaby, (D) Everything feels just right. (C)”
  2. “In the city’s heart where life is high, (A) Amidst the noise and the crowd’s sigh, (B) I find a peace that money can’t buy. (A)
    Sighs of the street under the sky, (B) Stories unfold, hellos and goodbye, (C) In the city’s rhythm, under the moon’s eye. (B)
    Goodbye to worries, under the moon’s lie, (C) The city sleeps in the night’s tie, (D) Bathed in starlight, under the celestial spy. (C)”
  3. “Beneath the old oak tree so high, (A) Where we used to dream and lie, (B) Memories flutter like a butterfly. (A)
    Lie here with me, under the sky, (B) Where our dreams can touch the sky, (C) And our spirits can truly fly. (B)
    Sky painted with hues of the sunset’s dye, (C) As the day whispers a soft goodbye, (D) In this moment, everything else is a lie. (C)”

Examples of Quatrain (ABBA or ABAB)

  1. “Upon a hill beneath the summer’s sun, (A) I watch as time just seems to run. (B) As wildflowers bloom, the day’s begun, (B) Underneath the sky, we are but one.” (A)
  2. “In the heart of the city’s bustling crowd, (A) Amidst the noise, loud and proud, (B) A silence profound, like a shroud, (B) In the rhythm of the street’s beat, I’m wowed.” (A)
  3. “Beneath the old oak tree so high, (A) Where we used to dream and lie, (B) Our spirits can truly fly, (B) Painted with hues of the sunset’s dye.” (A)
  4. “A field of flowers, gold and purple spun, (A) Bathed in the day’s warm, gentle light. (B) The world felt at ease beneath the sun, (A) In this moment, free from any fight.” (B)
  5. “The butterflies danced in the soft breeze, (A) The bees buzzed, busy in their sweet affair. (B) Such beauty, can only seize, (A) Feelings that are silently rare.” (B)
  6. “Upon a hill beneath the sky, (A) I saw a sight that made my heart take flight. (B) I watch as time just seems to fly, (B) Bathed in the day’s warm, gentle light.” (A)
  7. “In the rhythm of the street’s beat, (A) Where different lives meet, (B) Stories unfold, bittersweet, (B) In every alley and every concrete.” (A)
  8. “The city, with its towering height, (A) Shimmers in the moon’s silver light. (B) A sight that fills the night, (B) With a magic that feels right.” (A)
  9. “In this urban sprawl, I find my peace, (A) In its chaos, I find release. (B) Amidst the noise and the crowd’s lease, (B) I find a tranquility that will never cease.” (A)
  10. “Beneath the trees, the world felt at ease, (A) The bees buzzed, busy in their sweet affair. (B) To capture this scene, is a tease, (A) For such beauty, is beyond compare.” (B)

By now, you should understand what poetry rhyming schemes are and how they can be used to weave words into beautiful verses. Remember, these patterns, like ABAB, ABBA, or the imperfect rhyme scheme, are just tools to help you express your thoughts and feelings more effectively.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with them or even create your unique pattern. After all, poetry is about expressing individuality and creativity.

So pick up your pen, let your imagination run wild, and start crafting your captivating verses. Remember, in the world of poetry, there are no mistakes, only discoveries. Happy writing!

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






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