short measure

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A form of verse quatrain often used in hymns. A variant of common metre, it has four stresses in its third line, but only three stresses in the other three, the metre usually being iambic. The rhyme scheme is usually abcb, or, as in this cheerful example from the children's hymn‐writer Isaac Watts, abab:There is a dreadful Hell,And everlasting pains;There sinners must with devils dwellIn darkness, fire, and chains.The form has some similarity to poulter's measure.

Subjects: Literature.

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