Edward Lear

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What is the rhyme scheme in the following limerick by Edward Lear?

There was a young lady of Wilts

Who walked up to Scotland on stilts

When they said it is shocking

To show so much stocking

She answered, "Then what about kilts?

Expert Answers

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Most limericks have a rhyme scheme like this one: a/a/b/b/a.

The meter is mostly iambic tetrameter, except for the two bb lines, which is short a beat or two. Again, this is a typical pattern in limericks. Usually, the two rhyming lines in the middle of a limerick have one beat less - which would make it trimeter -- but this is not always the case. It is always different, but the rhythm does not always go from tetrameter to trimeter. Also, limericks are usually in iambic meter - unstressed followed by stressed.

 

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