What are examples of assonance in Andrew Lang's poem, "The Ballade of Worldly Wealth"?

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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Assonance is a sound device used in poetry in which the vowel sounds of words that are in close proximity to each other are repeated.  Assonance often results in contributing to the musicality of the lines.  An example in Andrew Lang's poem "The Ballade of Worldly Wealth" occurs in line 4:  "While the tides shall ebb and flow." In this line, you will see that the words "while" and "tide" have the same "i" sound.  The words don't exactly rhyme, but a particular vowel sound occurs in both words.  Another example is in line 6, "Like the Good, and Truth like lies."  The last two words--"like" and "lies" repeat the same vowel sound--the long "i" sound.  Assonance is also present in line 7 in the words "alone" and "bestow."  Here the long "o" sound is repeated.  You can find other examples of assonance in lines 10, 14, and 18.  Remember, though, when you are trying to spot assonance in the poem that you are looking at the vowel sounds and not the spellings.  Words such as "win" and "wine" do not have assonance, while words such as "why" and "wine" do.

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