As the name suggests, internal rhyme occurs within a verse or in a single phrase in that verse or could occur in multiple lines simultaneously. It could be within the same line or in the next line or in the middle and the end of that line. The major purpose of this rhyme is to bring music and rhythm to the verses. Some of the best internal rhyme poems are as follows given in the order of rank.
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.
This poem by Edgar Allen Poe shows the use of internal rhyme in the best way as some words have been repeated and then rhymed with similar words. And interestingly all of them occur as internal rhymes with words such as dreary, weary, napping, tapping, rapping, and again tapping. This internal rhyme continues in the second stanza with different words until the end of the poem. This excellent use of internal rhyme has made this poem ranked first among the best poems that have internal rhymes. Also, the poem is often referenced for internal and end rhymes as an example.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S. T. Coleridge
The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.
The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.
Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon—’
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.
This classical poem by S. T. Coleridge comprises the best internal rhyme in several of its stanzas. The melody created by these rhymes is so seductive and alluring that it is ranked second among such poems having the best internal rhyme scheme. The words such as cheered, cleared, below, sea, he, bright, right, higher, guest, and breast. These words match with each other in sound so much that they created a sort of musicality in the poem. They also help achieve the poem the pinnacles of popularity.
Annable Lee by Edgar Allen Poe
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
The poem is also one of the best examples of the use of internal rhyme. However, it is not full of such rhymes as you see in “The Raven.” The use of words love, soul, beams, dreams, eyes, darling, life, bride, and sea have been rhymed with each other. However, this rhyme scheme does not match that of “The Raven” by Poe. This difference has ranked it down to both other poems. However, the superiority of its metrical pattern is matchless.
The Cloud by Perce Bysshe Shelley
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night ’tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven’s blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
In terms of the use of internal rhyme, in the poem “The Cloud” Shelley does not show the use of internal rhyme in the entire poem. However, some of its stanzas demonstrate this skill of the poet. For example, in the given instance, the use of snow, below, towers, bowers, under, thunder, ocean, motion, genii, sea, rills, hills, dream, and stream. Readers feel that these internal rhymes have not only added to the beauty, music, and rhythm of the poem but also its meanings. It also shows the poet’s artistic capability of using words that rhyme within the verses.
The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake
When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry ” ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep!”
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.
There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb’s back, was shaved, so I said,
“Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head’s bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.”
And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;
These stanzas from the poem of William Blake, “The Chimney Sweeper” show the use of internal rhyme such as weep, sweep, sleep, quiet, and night. Although there are just a few of them, they have created different meanings, rhythms, and music. They show the artistic capability of William Blake in using internal rhymes. As they are just a few of them, the poem is one of the best poems having internal rhyme used in several stanzas. It happens here three times and yet it shows that it has added more to the rhythm in the verses.
The Owl and the Pussy-Cat By Edward Lear
Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.
This beautiful poem by Edward Lear is one of the best among the poems on the list, having internal rhyme used in them. This excerpt shows the use of internal rhyme within verses in different places. The first one is owl and fowl in the very first line while the second occurs in the third line married and tarried. The third one is away and day, the fourth one is wood and stood. The last lines have the use of anaphora of “his nose.” The use of internal rhymes shows music, beauty, and meanings in the poem.
Boy with a Moon and Star on His Head by Yousuf Islam
A gardener’s daughter stopped me on my way, on the day I was to wed
It is you who I wish to share my body with she said
We’ll find a dry place under the sky with a flower for a bed
And for my joy I will give you a boy with a moon and star
On his head
Her silver hair flowed in the air laying waves across the sun
Her hands were like the white sands, and her eyes had diamonds on
We left the road and headed up to the top of the whisper wood
And we walked ’till we came to where the holy magnolia stood
And there we laid cool in the shade singing songs and making love
This song of Yousuf Islam shows the use of internal rhyme in musical writings. As it is a song, it is included for the repetition of phrases. For example, the very first line shows the use of on my way, on the day, while the second internal rhyme is joy and boy. The third one is hair and air and the fourth one is hands and sands. The fifth one is laid and shade. Internal rhymes occur in almost every second line, adding meanings, music, and beauty to the stanzas.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning
They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And eat the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women’s chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.
The use of internal rhyme occurs in some places and not in the whole poem. This short excerpt from the poem shows the use of rats and cats where cats occur at the end of the second line and then speaking, shrieking, and squeaking occurs in two lines. The second one occurs in the third and second last lines where two are end rhymes and one makes the internal rhyme. Both examples have added to the music as well as the meanings of this stanza.
Mine – by the Right of the White Election! by Emily Dickinson
Mine – by the Right of the White Election!
Mine – by the Royal Seal!
Mine – by the sign in the Scarlet prison –
Bars – cannot conceal!
Mine – here – in Vision – and in Veto!
Mine – by the Grave’s Repeal –
Titled – Confirmed –
Mine – long as Ages steal!
This short poem by Emily Dickinson also shows some use of internal rhyme. The very first line shows this use of internal rhyme right and white. This has added to the end rhyme of seal and conceals, creating a melody in the first stanza with the use of mine in the beginning of each line. The second stanza also shows the same such as the use of a preposition “in” and then the end rhyme repeal and steal. Although there are just two internal rhymes, these two have made this poem melodic in music and deep in meaning.
Galoshes by Rhoda W. Bacmeister
Make splishes and sploshes
And slooshes and sloshes,
As Susie steps slowly
Along in the slush.
They stamp and they tramp
On the ice and concrete,
They get stuck in the muck and the mud;
But Susie likes much best to hear
The slippery slush
As it slooshes and sloshes,
And splishes and sploshes,
All round her galoshes!
Although some sounds may seem jarring, the use of internal rhyme has made this poem popular. The use of internal rhyme shows the poet’s talent. For example, some are splishes, splashes, slooshes, sloshes, stamp, tramp, muck, mud, and then the same splishes and sploshes by the end. All these examples of internal rhymes have made this poem melodic, the reason that it is being used in classrooms to teach rhyme scheme and rhythm to the children.