Rhyme in Sonnet 29

Rhyme Examples in Sonnet 29:

Sonnet 29 5

"brings..."   (Sonnet 29)

The speaker’s shift in perspective, raising his love to the highest value, finds a parallel in the poem’s rhyme scheme. In the third quatrain, the first and third line end with “despising” and “arising.” These words form a feminine—or multisyllabic—rhyme in which the “-ing” syllables go unstressed. The final couplet also uses the “-ing” syllable for its end rhyme, but with a major difference. Each syllable lands on its line’s final stress, resulting in a powerful, conclusive tone. The manner in which one sound — “-ing” — can be reframed and thus empowered mirrors the manner in which the speaker reframes his love for the youth to empower his own mental and emotional state.

"sings hymns..."   (Sonnet 29)

Notice how the alliteration of s sounds in "sings," "hymns," at "heaven's" suggests a singing bird. There are four s sounds in the three words: "sings" begins and ends with an s and therefore the word "hymns," with its soft initial consonant, is similarly bracketed by s sounds. Shakespeare uses the word "sweet" in the very next line, an echo of the singing lark that has soared out of sight.

"I all alone..."   (Sonnet 29)

The internal rhyme within this line works against its readability. In “I all alone,” the “I” blends with the double “L” in all. “All” and “alone” repeat the same syllable and make the three words indistinguishable. “All” is inserted between “I” and “alone’ to stress the first syllable in “alone” within the second iamb. Conforming to iambic pentameter within this line makes the line less strong and undermines the speaker’s poetic prowess.

"outcast state,..."   (Sonnet 29)

“Outcast state” is an internal rhyme between the last syllable of “outcast” and first syllable of “state.” This consonant pair occurs sequentially, which makes the line sonically clunky and hard to say.

"contented least..."   (Sonnet 29)

“What I most enjoy” here means the speaker’s ability to create poetry; even his poetry does not offer him solace. The form of this line reflects the content as “least” resolves “possessed” with an unsatisfyingly weak rhyme.