Dr. Boli has attempted in the past to explain the principles of rhyme. These fits of pedantry are usually brought on by finding some site—an on-line dictionary by Merriam-Webster, for example—that lists rhymes for a certain word, and finding that none of the supposed rhymes rhyme.

Henceforth, however, there will be no need to explain the principles of rhyme again. We have found an explanation of those principles so concise and yet so complete that it can probably never be improved. It comes from the book Rhymes and Meters by Horatio Winslow, most famous as a prolific writer of magazine stories. Here is all you will ever have to know about rhyme.

The rhyme most commonly used in verse is the single rhyme—the rhyme of one syllable. A single rhyme is perfect when the rhymed syllables are accented; when the vowel sounds and the following consonant sounds are identical and when the preceding consonant sounds are different.

“Less” rhymes with “mess” and “caress” but not with “unless,” because in this last case the preceding consonant sounds are the same. It will rhyme with “bless” because the “b” and “l” are so joined that the combined sound differs from the simple “l” of “less.” “Less” does not rhyme with “best” because the “t” makes the concluding consonant sounds unlike. Nor does it rhyme with “abbess” because the accent in this word falls on the first syllable.

A double or triple rhyme follows in construction the rules laid down for the single rhyme. The accents must be alike; the preceding consonants must differ and the vowels and the remaining syllables of the words be identical. “Double” goes perfectly with “trouble” and “bubble,” while “charity,” “clarity” and “rarity” all rhyme.

The spelling of a word does not affect its rhyming use. It is rhymed as it is pronounced. “Move” and “prove” do not rhyme with “love”—all the poets in Christendom to the contrary. Neither does “come” rhyme with “home.” The pronunciation is all in all and that must be decided not by local usage but by some standard authority.