What is meant by "He took in rhyme" in the poem "Laugh and Be Merry" by John Masefield?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In John Masefield's poem "Laugh and Be Merry" the line "He took in rhyme" occurs in the following stanza:

Laugh and be merry: remember, in olden time.
God made Heaven and Earth for joy He took in a rhyme,
Made them, and filled them full with the strong red wine of His mirth
The splendid joy of the stars: the joy of the earth.

The poem is written in four stanzas with the following rhyme pattern:

a,a,b,b

c,c,d,d

e,e,f,f

g,g,h,h

The poem is written with end rhyme, meaning the end words rhyme with each other. The stanzas are written in quatrains, meaning four line stanzas.

As for the meaning of the line "He took in rhyme", it could simply be looked at as Masefield's way of creating the rhyme scheme specific to the poem. The word "rhyme" simply rhymes with the previous line's ending word "time."

Another way one could interpret the meaning behind the line is that rhymes are historically meant to be perfect. God, being perfect, desired a perfect place for mankind when creating the earth.

One last way to examine the meaning of the line is to look at a very simplistic reason: Once created, God was able to "sit back and relax" by entertaining himself with a rhyme.

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