by George J. Dance

ABCB rhyme is a common rhyme scheme used in English-language verse. It is sometimes called "Simple 4-Line" rhyme.[1]


ABCB rhyme is most commonly found in quatrains, although it can be used in any stanza with a multiple of four lines, or (in a variation) in any stanza with an even number of lines. In such a stanza, only the even-numbered lines rhyme.


The ABCB rhyme scheme can be used with any meter, but is most often identified with ballad meter. One of the key differences between ballad meter and common meter is that the former uses ABCB rhyme while the latter uses cross rhyme.

Ballad meter seems to have derived from rhyming heptameter couplets, which explains why the odd-numbered lines did not have to rhyme.

Examples of ABCB rhymeEdit

External linksEdit

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