Rhyme in The Lucy Poems

Rhyme Examples in The Lucy Poems:

The Lucy Poems - Strange fits of passion have I known 1

"Strange fits of passion have I known, And I will dare to tell,..."   (The Lucy Poems - Strange fits of passion have I known)

Wordsworth structures “Strange fits of passion have I known” as a ballad, a song-like poetic form with an ABAB rhyme scheme. The meter alternates between tetrameter and trimeter, so each four-beat line is followed by a three-beat line. This gives the poem a propulsive, musical feeling. The opening couplet establishes a confessional tone. The speaker dare to relate a personal story. This rhetorical move raises the narrative stakes at the outset.

"Three years she grew in sun and shower, Then Nature said, “A lovelier flower On earth was never sown;..."   (The Lucy Poems - Three years she grew in sun and shower (The Education of Nature))

Here, Wordsworth strays from the standard balladic structure of the other poems in the Lucy sequence. In this poem each stanza takes on an AABCCB rhyme scheme. Each four-beat couplet is followed by a three-beat–B-rhyme line. This overall effect is songlike, but not as propulsive as a typical ballad. The frequent three-beat lines allow for moments of pause that contribute to a contemplative tone.