A Bird came down the Walk— Questions and Answers
by Emily Dickinson

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In the first four lines of the poem "A Bird came down the Walk--" by Emily Dickinson, which lines end with words that rhyme?

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Liesl Johnson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It's only the second and fourth lines that rhyme:

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

"Saw" at the end of the second line rhymes with "raw" at the end of the fourth line, but that's the only end rhyme we see in that first stanza.

To find rhymes, it really helps to read the poem out loud. Listen for words that have the same final vowel sound, such as "say" and "hey," or "noon" and "June." Notice that the spelling of two rhyming words doesn't have to look the same: it's only the sounds that matter.

Because Lines 2 and 4 rhyme with each other, you can say that the rhyme scheme of the first stanza is "ABCB." It means that only the second and fourth lines (both labeled "B") rhyme with each other.

It's interesting to consider the rhyme pattern of the first stanza of this poem, because we might expect that the same pattern will keep going for the rest of the poem. And yes, the second stanza does show the same pattern:

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass

When you read that second stanza above, you might think, "Great! I've identified the rhyme scheme for the whole poem. It's ABCB all the way down."

But then you start checking out the rest of the stanzas, and you notice that they stop following the rhyme pattern:

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around— 
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his Velvet Head

Do you see any rhymes in that third stanza above? I don't! Everything just stops rhyming from there. That's part of what makes this poem so interesting: it makes us wonder if the order is falling apart for some specific reason. Maybe the speaker is emphasizing how the encounter with the bird isn't exactly going the way she expected!

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