The pattern of rhymes at the ending of each line in a poem is called a rhyme scheme. Letters (A,B,C...) are usually used to express which lines rhyme. Verses that are designated with the same letter are said to rhyme with each other. It is also known as an arrangement of rhymes in a stanza or a poem.
For an easier understanding of the concept, let us take a famous nursery rhyme written by Jane Taylor as an example.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.
We see that the first two lines rhyme with each other (star-are); the second two lines rhyme with each other (high-sky). Let us name each line as \(A\), \(B\) depending on the words that rhyme with each other.
|Twinkle twinkle little star,|
|How I wonder what you are.||A|
|Up above the world so high,||B|
|Like a diamond in the sky.||B|
It can thus be seen that this poem follows \(AABB\) pattern.
Rhyme scheme of the poem "The River":
The poem contains four stanzas with five lines each. All stanzas follow the ABCCB rhyme scheme.
|River, river, little river|
|Bright you sparkle on your way||\(B\)|
|O’er the yellow pebbles dancing|
|Through the flowers and foliage glancing|
|Like a child at play||\(B\)|
It can thus be seen that this poem follows \(ABCCB\) pattern.