The closing couplet's masculine rhyme
, linking "remain" and "plain," is heavy and somber in its lack of musical momentum.
In classical Russian poetry, regular alternation between feminine and masculine rhyme
is the norm.
Is it significant that 'Yeux' is the only masculine rhyme
in the sonnet?
And the sonnet is peculiarly feminine, partly because in the tercets two feminine rhymes twice engulf the single masculine one; partly because the single masculine rhyme
(/ite/) is so closely related, in acoustic terms, to the masculine rhyme
of the octave (/iRe/), that masculinity seems markedly without variety, resource, imagination; partly because the sestet seems to introduce 'nui[t]z' as an alternative or companion to 'repos' (and 'sommeil'), to envelop both sleep and dream in the feminine; and mostly because the loved one becomes progressively excluded from a poem apparently addressed to him, as, first, sleep, and then, we realize, the self, are increasingly the subject.
Compare masculine rhyme
. Robert Browning alternates feminine and masculine rhymes
in his "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister":
Rhyme is classified according to the number of syllables contained in the rhyme as follows: masculine rhyme
, in which the final syllables are accented and after differing initial consonants the sounds are identical (lark, stark; support, resort); feminine rhyme, in which accented, rhyming syllables are followed by identical, unaccented syllables (revival, arrival; flutter, butter); and triple rhyme, a kind of feminine rhyme in which accented, rhyming syllables are followed by two identical syllables (machinery, scenery; tenderly, slenderly).
Structurally, masculine rhyme
in the tonic-syllabic metre consists of a metrical strong position occupied by a stressed syllable; perceptually, it generates an abrupt cut-off point.
Though the poem has no extended stanzas, suggesting by their omission that every stanza of the speaker's words is to be viewed as a tightly managed unit dominated by an appropriately masculine rhyme
, the tail rhyme of each tercet depends upon a feminine ending.
In verse, a monosyllabic rhyme, or a rhyme that occurs only in stressed final syllables (such as claims, flames or rare, despair).
Three rhymes are recognized by purists as "true rhymes": masculine rhyme
, in which the two words end with the same vowel-consonant combination (stand/land); feminine rhyme (sometimes called double rhyme), in which two syllables rhyme (profession/discretion); and trisyllabic rhyme, in which three syllables rhyme (patinate/latinate).
In Eugene Onegin, 40 percent of masculine rhymes
, and only 13 percent of feminine ones, are rich (a 27 percent difference).
Robic's discussion of Verlaine's ballad is one example of her attention to the irreverent use of fixed poetic forms that also includes the "inverted sonnet" favored by writers such as Pierre Louys who used it for his pornographic poem "Acrostiche saphique." Robic's third chapter, "Les Jeux de la versification a la parodie," also refers to poets who subvert the tradition of alternating feminine and masculine rhymes
to serve homosexual or lesbian themes, as we see in Banville's "Erinna" which is written in feminine rhymes only.