Quatrain Examples

Quatrain

A quatrain is a group of four lines of poetry, or a verse of poetry that has four lines. The quatrain is typically centered around a theme within the poem. A quatrain typically has a specific pattern to the end rhyme of each line. If the poem has multiple quatrains, the rhyme scheme of one may repeat in the others.

Examples of Quatrain:

Elizabethan sonnets are made up of three quatrains and a couplet (2 lines) at the end, as this sonnet from Shakespeare illustrates (spaces added to show the quatrains):


My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.


I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.


I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.


And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.


From Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening":
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.


From Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner":
It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

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