Sicilian Quatrain Notes

Possibly the most popular quatrain from used within a sonnet since its first use in the 12th century by Giacomo da Lentini. However it is not purely for the use of the sonneteer, the Sicilian Quatrains is commonly used by story tellers and ballad writers.

Traditionally written in 8 or 10 syllable lines, English poets may prefer tetrameter or pentameter, the quatrain consists of alternating end-line rhymes.

The rhyme scheme is: abab cdcd efef and so on


Example

Viking’s Of The Norse by Divena Collins

A Viking ship sailed out to sea
With a full crew of men
Rough and ready sailors they be
Of fifty rowers and ten.

Cast not of fear to waves full high
Nor strong winds that blew
For hurricanes blew from the sky
All was not lost from view.

A Viking horn blew loud and strong
Warning of a high tide flood
The Viking warrior can do no wrong
It is deep within his blood.

But strength of will was borne within
Knowing they may be free
Braver than the sea sharks that swim
The valiant warrior was he.

Come by the shore to walk the plank
‘Twas a Viking tradition.
Never to say that a Viking ship sank
All was good condition.

This is the end of my ballad bold
Let no man tell different
Flagons of grog may be in the fold
Maybe too soon it went

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