What is a rhyme scheme called when the poem only rhymes in the beginning?

1 Answer
Jun 4, 2017

A stanza


There is a distinction in rhyme schemes between stanza's and chain rhymes. A stanza is a grouped set of lines within a poem, usually set off from other stanzas by a blank line or indentation. They can occur anywhere throughout a writing; at the beginning, in the middle or at the end. This short poem by Emily Dickinson is an example of two stanzas with four lines each.

I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love; but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.

A chain rhyme is the linking together of stanzas by carrying a rhyme over from one stanza to the next. So instead of two stanza's having their own, separate rhyming structure, such as the one above where both stanza's are ABCB, a chain rhyme joins the rhymes together.
Take this example John Byrom:

My spirit longeth for thee
Within my troubled breast,
Although I be unworthy
Of so divine a guest.
Of so divine a guest,
Unworthy though I be
Yet has my heart no rest,
Unless it comes from thee.
Unless it comes from thee
In vain I look around,
In all that I can see,
No rest is to be found.
No rest is to be found
But in thy blessed love,
Oh let my wish be crowned,
And send it from above.

Notice how the 4th and 1st line of each stanza repeat, but with each having a slightly different meaning? This is the chaining of stanza's, which in this form comes as ABAB BABA ACAC CDCD. In a regular stanza, the last line of one stanza would not rhyme with the first line of the second stanza.

I hope that helped!