The Triolet


Basic features & history of the verse form:
Number of lines 8
Structure / divisions The triolet, perhaps because of its length, usually appears as a single unit
Rhyme scheme ABaAabAB
Meter In English, often iambic tetrameter or iambic pentameter
Refrain line or lines Yes — refrain lines are designated by A and B
Time / place of origin 14th-century France
Medieval / Renaissance poets
  associated with this form
Jean Froissart, Francois Villon
Examples written in English
  by or before —
17th century (Patrick Carey)


An example of a triolet:

Triolet III
by Patrick Carey (1624-1657)

      1  (A)  Yes (my dear Lord) I've found it so;
      2  (B)  No joys but thine are purely sweet;
      3  (a)  Other delights come mixt with woe,
      4  (A  )Yes (my dear Lord) I've found it so.
      5  (a)  Pleasure at courts is but in show,
      6  (b)  With true content in cells we meet;
      7  (A)  Yes (my dear Lord) I've found it so;
      8  (B)  No joys but thine are purely sweet.


A Brief Guide to Some Medieval and Renaissance Verse Forms

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Table and its contents copyright 2002 by Jennifer M. Tom    ( Jennifer Monroe Franson )