Closed couplet

The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms - Ross Murfin 2018

Closed couplet

Closed couplet: Two successive lines of rhyming verse whose meaning is grammatically or logically complete, forming a statement that can stand meaningfully on its own.

EXAMPLES: John Dryden’s “Epigram on Milton” (1688), a poem about three poets (Homer of Greece, Virgil of Rome, and John Milton of England), is suggestively composed of three closed couplets (the last of which involves an eye rhyme):

Three poets, in three distant ages born,

Greece, Italy, and England did adorn.

The first in loftiness of thought surpassed,

The next in majesty, in both the last:

The force of Nature could no farther go;

To make a third, she joined the former two.