Rhythm and rhyme

“The Brown Man’s Burden” by Henry Du Pré Labouchère was structured to reproduce the style in the original poem, “The White Man’s Burden”, by Rudyard Kipling.  Consequently, it bears some resemblance to Kipling’s poem in terms of rhythm and rhyme.

The rhythm is iambic; every second syllable is stressed. Just like in Kipling’s poem, it is very lilt (rhythmic), suggesting that the text could be sang. Notice also that certain pauses are inserted in the poem, suggesting a meter break:

“That surely need not irk you--
Ye've driven slaves before.”
(ll. 27-28)

“That ye are Freedom's agent--
There's no more paying game!”
(ll. 51-52)

The rhyme is broken, or imperfect. Some lines have alternate rhymes, while others have no rhyme at all:

“Pile on the brown man's burden
To gratify your greed;
Go, clear away the "niggers"
Who progress would impede;”
(ll. 1- 4)

Alliterations and assonance are also present in the poem, creating a certain sound rhythmicity: “dumdum bullets” (l. 3), “ye yearn” (l. 36), “flows freely” (l. 59)....

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in