Poetry Guide: "Feminine" Rhyme
A This type of rhyme, in English prosody, is a rhyme that matches two or more syllables at the end of the respective lines. Usually the final syllable is unaccented. Shakespeare's Sonnet number 20, uniquely among the sonnets, makes use exclusively of this type of rhymes:
- A woman's face with nature's own hand painted,
- Hast thou, the master mistress of my passion;
- A woman's gentle heart, but not acquainted
- With shifting change, as is false women's fashion...
- But since she prick'd thee out for women's pleasure,
- Mine be thy love and thy love's use their treasure.
This kind of rhyme is relatively rare in English poetry and usually appears as a special effect. However, the Hudibrastic relies upon this rhyme for its comedy, and limericks will often employ outlandish versions of these rhymes for their humor.
In French verse, this rhyme is one in which the final syllable is a "silent" e, even if the word uses le or un. In classical French poetry, two of these rhymes cannot occur in succession.