broken rhyme

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The splitting of a word (not in fact of the rhyme) at the end of a verse line, to allow a rhyme on a syllable other than the final one, which is transferred to the following line. It is a liberty taken for comic effect in light verse, and more rarely used in serious works. Hopkins employed it frequently: the first line of ‘The Windhover’ ends with the first syllable of ‘king/dom’ to rhyme with ‘wing’ in line four.

Subjects: Literature.

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