Standard Habbie/Burns’ Stanza

The Standard Habbie, often used by Robert Burns who may have created the form, is a sestet stanza. Lines 1, 2, 3 and 5 all consists of eight syllables and are also connected by rhyme and lines 4 and 6 are also connected by rhyme but consist of 6 syllables. This gives the following structure

xxxxxxxa
xxxxxxxa
xxxxxxxa
xxxxxb
xxxxxxxa
xxxxx

Example: Lucky in Love by Jez Farmer

A warrior to stand behind
The beauty my own eyes defined
Her kiss I hold within my mind
Her love the reason why
I’d let my life slowly unwind
To keep her safe, I’ll die

For love, there is no asking price
Yet demands such high sacrifice
Its fate, a mere roll of the dice
A moment of chance
Her flame melted my heart of ice
And awakened romance

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