What is an Internal Rhyme

What is an Internal Rhyme

Internal rhyme is a poetic device which refers to the use of rhyming words within a single line or between phrases across multiple lines. Internal rhyme is the opposite of external rhyme. External rhyme or end rhyme refers to the use of rhyming words at the end of a line.

As mentioned above, there are different variations of internal rhyme and these variations can be categorized into the following three forms.

Two or more rhyming words in the same line

Double, double toil and trouble,
Fire burn and cauldron bubble

Macbeth, Shakespeare

Rhyming words at the middle of each successive lines

Who so beset him round with dismal stories
Do but themselves confound—his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
He will make good his right to be a pilgrim.

To Be a Pilgrim, Percy Dearmer

The word at the end of line rhyming with the middle word of the successive line

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey Jude, the Beatles

Examples of Internal Rhyme

Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven is a perfect example of internal rhyme. Here you can see more than one variation of internal rhyme pattern.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door…..

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore…

– The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe What is an Internal Rhyme

 For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

– Annabel Lee, Edgar Allen Poe

The ship was cheer’d, the harbor clear’d,
And every day, for food or play,
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,..
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmer’d the white moonshine.….

Why look’st thou so?’—’With my crossbow
Ah wretch! Said they, the bird to slay
Then all averr’d, I had kill’d the bird
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,

The Rime of Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Image Courtesy:

The Raven By John Tenniel – lib.udel.edu, (Public Domain) via

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