[n] a stanza of eight lines of heroic verse with the rhyme scheme abababcc
The ottava rima stanza in English consists of eight iambic lines, usually iambic pentameters. Each stanza consists of three rhymes following the rhyme scheme a-b-a-b-a-b-c-c. The form is similar to the older Sicilian octave, but evolved separately and is unrelated. The Sicilian octave is derived from the medieval strambotto and was a crucial step in the development of the sonnet, whereas the ottava rima is related to the canzone, a stanza form.
From Frere's Whistlecraft:
- But chiefly, when the shadowy moon had shed
- O'er woods and waters her mysterious hue,
- Their passive hearts and vacant fancies fed
- With thoughts and aspirations strange and new,
- Till their brute souls with inward working bred
- Dark hints that in the depths of instinct grew
- Subjection not from Locke's associations,
- Nor David Hartley's doctrine of vibrations.
From Byron's Don Juan:
- "Go, little book, from this my solitude!
- I cast thee on the waters – go thy ways!
- And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,
- The world will find thee after many days."
- When Southey 's read, and Wordsworth understood,
- I can't help putting in my claim to praise –
- The four first rhymes are Southey's every line:
- For God's sake, reader! take them not for mine.