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Kyrielle - Definition

The definition of: Kyrielle is below.
There are 3 syllables in the word Kyrielle.
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Definition of: Kyrielle

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Poetry Definition

A kyrielle is written in rhyming couplets or quatrains. It uses the phrase "Lord have mercy", or a variant on it, as a refrain as the second line of the couplet or last line of the quatrain. In less strict usage, other phrases like "O God, be merciful to me", and sometimes single words, are used as the refrain.


This kyrielle is by Thomas Campion.

A Lenten Hymn

With broken heart and contrite sigh,
A trembling sinner, Lord, I cry:
Thy pard’ning grace is rich and free:
O God, be merciful to me.
I smite upon my troubled breast,
With deep and conscious guilt oppress,
Christ and His cross my only plea:
O God, be merciful to me.
Far off I stand with tearful eyes,
Nor dare uplift them to the skies;
But Thou dost all my anguish see:
O God, be merciful to me.
Nor alms, nor deeds that I have done,
Can for a single sin atone;
To Calvary alone I flee:
O God, be merciful to me.
And when, redeemed from sin and hell,
With all the ransomed throng I dwell,
My raptured song shall ever be,
God has been merciful to me.

Poetry Definition

Medieval French form written in rhyming couplets (though often arranged in quatrains) and featuring repeated lines or refrains. An example of a kyrielle is A Lenten Hymn by Thomas Campion.


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Standard Definition

Misc. Definitions

\Kyr`i*elle\, n. [Cf. F. kyrielle.] A litany beginning with the words. ``Kyrie eleison.'' --Shipley.