is a poem
, or a stanza
within a poem, that consists always of four lines. It is the most common of all stanza forms in African poetry. The rhyming patterns include abb, abab, abba, abcb.
In its narrow meaning, the term is restricted to a complete poem consisting of only four lines. In its broader sense, it includes any one of many four-verse stanza forms.
- The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
- The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
- The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
- And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
- Shairi (also known as Rustavelian Quatrain) is an aaaa rhyming form used mainly in The Knight in the Panther's Skin.
- The [[Shichigon-zekku] form used in Chinese and Japanese poetry. Both rhyme and rhythm are key elements, although the former is not restricted to falling at the end of the phrase.
- Ballad meter (The examples from "The Unquiet Grave" and "The Wife of Usher's Well" are both examples of ballad meter.)
- Various hymns employ specific forms, such as the common meter, long meter, and short meter.
- The thirty syllable, Celtic verse form Englyn from the Welsh language is another interesting variation of the quatrain ,and is also now popular in the English language.