End Rhyme Examples in Poetry

Definition of End Rhyme

End rhyme occurs when the last words of two or more lines in a poem sound alike. It’s as if you read a poem and see that the words at the end of some lines sound alike. Through this rhyme, here comes rhythm also, which makes the poem easier to remember. 

End Rhyme is frequently used to create harmony or underscore certain ideas. For instance, in the line “The star shone bright in the night,” both “bright” and “night” rhyme. This similarity of sound at its last position represents what is known as end rhyme . It is very common in poetry because it enhances the musicality of the verses.

Functions of End Rhyme in poetry

Following are the functions of end rhyme in poetry: –

Creates Rhythm and Musicality: End Rhyme provides rhythmic pattern to a poem thereby making it more musical and pleasant on the ear. This rhythm may even improve the entire reading process so that a poem seems more interesting and catchy.

Emphasizes Ideas and Themes: Rhymed words allow poets to emphasize certain ideas or themes that are present in the poem. These words stand out due to repetition of sounds and these sound patterns may accentuate the message in this poem or its emotional effect.

Provides Structure and Form: Often, end rhyme contributes to the structure of a poem assisting in defining its form. For instance, in sonnets or couplets, the end rhyme pattern is essential to a poem’s construction and assists with organizing verses linearly.

Enhances Memorability: Rhymed poems are easier to learn and remember. The use of end rhyme to predictably and familiarly tie the lines in a poem together can make them stick not only for remembering, but especially so useful while verbally passing on oral stories.

Creates a Sense of Closure: End rhymes may imply the closure or completion of a stanza, poem. The rhymed words serve as a signal that an idea or argument is being closed.

Aids in Creating Mood: End rhyme largely depends on the words one chooses to place at its end and even with that, it can add atmosphere towards a whole piece of poetry whether light hearted or sad.

Facilitates Flow and Pace: End rhyme can impact the speed at which one reads.

End Rhyme Examples in Poetry


“Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats

“My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:”

The excerpt employs end rhyme. The final words of lines rhyme with one another. The words “pains” rhymes with “drains”, and “drunk” rhymes with “sunk.” This end rhyme gives the verse a rhythmic, musical quality which complements the lyrical nature of the poem. In particular, the ABCB rhyme scheme with the closely placed “drunk” and “sunk” rhyming pair gives a sense of completion to the four line stanza. The rhymes almost echo one another, tying the imagery together. This heightens the immersive, intoxicating feeling that the speaker describes after imaginatively drinking the “dull opiate.”


“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

The end rhyme in the stanza makes an unforgettable sound. The repetition of the final word “sleep” is a part of AABA scheme, which means that it has very structured rhythmic quality. In particular, “deep” rhymes with “keep”, assisting in establishing a link between the contrasting concepts of the entrancing woods’ ” loveliness” and those duties that came from his promises he would have to answer first. The repetition of that last “sleep” line rhyming with ‘deep’ re-emphasizes the tug between nature wonder and responsibilities remaining to be done for the traveler. On the whole, end rhyme gives an auditory cohesion that makes these four lines feel like a complete thought unit while intensifying thematic contradiction. This simple rhyme scheme is very effective in underscoring this tension for the readers and listeners.


“When I Have Fears” by John Keats

“When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain;”

The above lines employ an ABCB end rhyme scheme. The A rhyme pair is between “be” and “brain”, while the B rhyme falls on “charactery” and “grain.” This creates a feeling of coherence within the quatrain’s expressed anxiety over missing out on future poetic achievement. The A rhyme connects the fear of death (ceasing “to be”) with the yet unwritten ideas still to be gleaned “from his teeming brain.” Meanwhile, the B rhyme joins the imagery of unread books of poems (“in charactery”) with an analogy about those unwritten poetic ideas ripening over time. The rhymes connect these lines in a structured flow that crystallizes the poem’s central worry. So the end rhyme scheme here knits together the poetic images and feelings to enhance the poignant theme about mortality cutting short one’s creative potential.


“The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear

“The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.”

The passage uses consistent end rhymes in an AABB pattern to create a lively and storybook rhythm. The rhyme scheme is in pairs i.e. “sea” with “boat”; then “money” with “note.” These end rhymes give the quatrain a predictable cadence that almost mimics the beat of oars rowing or waves at sea, appropriate for this nautical adventure. The rhymes enhance the playful tone and add auditory cohesion across the images of the unlikely animal duo sailing off together. What ties the stanza even more closely is how the B rhyme words (“money” and “note”) are linked by the wrapping up of the money physically within the paper note. The end rhymes complement the childhood escapism at the heart of both the poem’s imagination and soundscape.


“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” by William Wordsworth

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;”

Wordsworth uses an AABB rhyme scheme in the excerpt. The rhyming words are: “hills” and “daffodils” comprising the B rhyme at the end of lines two and four. This rhyme scheme connects the imagery of the lonely, empty hills with the sudden vibrant vision of the golden daffodils, heightening the contrast between solitude and cheerful crowds. Specifically, the B rhyme’s repetition ties together the natural landscapes of the hills and daffodils, emphasizing Wordsworth’s picturesque scene. The musical effect created by the consistent end rhyme gives a lightness that reflects the uplifted mood the daffodils bring to the wandering speaker. Overall, the interlocking rhyme scheme reflects the thematic progression from loneliness to animation. The auditory satisfaction of the rhyming couplet finale mimics the visual pleasure closing the stanza on the flowering vision, patterning the speaker’s shift from pensiveness to enraptured observation. With its upbeat lift, the AABB end rhyme both echoes and helps convey the delighted tonal turn in the verse.


Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:”

Shakespeare uses an ABAB rhyme scheme here, with “minds” rhyming with “finds” at the end of lines 1 and 3. This end rhyme connects the ideas of true faithful love with the concept that it does not change or fade. The rhyme emphasizes these messages about the constant, unaltering nature of real love. It creates a musical quality to complement the sonnet’s thematic cohesion. The repetition of the “love” sounds also stands out within the end rhyme pattern.

End Rhyme Examples in Poetry
End Rhyme Examples in Poetry

Related Terms

Rhyme scheme

Rhyme scheme refers to the repetitive pattern of end rhymes in a poem. The rhyme scheme is typically described using alphabetic labels marking matching end sounds, like ABAB for an alternate rhyme or AABB for consecutive rhyme. Analyzing the rhyme scheme elucidates the overarching end rhyme structure that builds rhythmic expectation and emphases. For instance, an ABAB scheme creates a back-and-forth zigzag rhyme, while AABB produces rhyming couplets. Identifying schemes helps reveal sound patterns that complement meanings.

Internal rhyme

Internal rhyme enriches rhyming effects by placing rhyming words within lines rather than solely at line endings. This intra-line positioning often contrasts with the end rhyme scheme to set up an intricate interplay. For example the lines:

i: “The sweet bird’s tune had me swoon”
ii: “My heart aflutter, all a-stutter”

Here “tune” and “swoon” internally rhyme within Line A, while Line B contains both end rhyme and internal rhyme. This complex acoustic texture entertains while underscoring thematic content.

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