Rime Royal

Rime Royal is a seven-lined stanza written in iambic pentameter. It is basically a quatrain dovetailed onto two couplets. Chaucer may have derived the form from the Italian ottava rima by omitting a line. The rhyme scheme is ababbcc. The subjects of the form are often lofty topics such as love, chivalry, classic tales, tragedies, or lives of saints.

The Rime Royal

   The form of verse that's called a royal rhyme
   Recounts the lives of nobles, saints, and such.
   Iambic feet are used in every line
   To mark the length so it won't be too much;
   Most poets find that five have just the touch.
   Of course, my verses hardly ever scan,
   But I keep slogging on as best I can.

Classical Rimes Royal

example 1
example 2


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