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A poem, usually of a pastoral or lyrical nature, consisting normally of five three‐lined stanzas and a final quatrain, with only two rhymes throughout. The first and third lines of the first stanza are repeated alternatively in the succeeding stanzas as a refrain, and form a final couplet in the quatrain [OED]. The form has been much employed in light verse and Vers De Société by A. Lang, A. Dobson, and others, and in the 20th cent. was used to more serious purpose by Auden, Empson (‘Slowly the poison the whole blood stream fills’), Dylan Thomas (‘Do not go gentle into that good night’), and others.

Subjects: Literature.

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