Rhyme royal (rime royal)

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

Rhyme royal (rime royal)

Rhyme royal (rime royal): Introduced by fourteenth-century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, a seven-line poetic stanza written in iambic pentameter with the rhyme scheme ababbcc. Rhyme royal, often said to be named for James I’s use of the form in his dream vision The Kingis Quair (The King’s Book) (c. 1424), became a standard, even dominant form of English verse during the fifteenth century and continued to be used periodically thereafter. Poets who have used the form include William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, and W. H. Auden.

FURTHER EXAMPLE: The following stanza from Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde (c. 1383):

And whoso seith that for to love is vice,

Or thraldom, though he feele it in destresse,

He outher° is envyous, or right nyce°either; foolish

Or is unmyghty, for his shrewedness,°impotent because

To loven; for swich manere folk, I gesse,of his nastiness

Defamen Love, as nothing of him knowe.

They speken, but thei benten nevere his bowe!