The Caudate or Tail Rhymed Stanza was a popular stanzaic form in 12th-14th century England. Variations also can be found in France in the form of the Rime Couée and Scotland in the Burns Stanza. Tail Rhymed Stanza simply refers to a stanza from 6 or 12 lines long with 1 or 2 short lines that carry the same rhyme.
The Tail Rhymed Stanza is:
• stanzaic, most often written in any number of sixains but the stanzas could be 12 lines each.
• metered, often accentual with longer lines or 4 stresses and one or two lines of only 2 stresses. The lines are also found written in trochaic or iambic tetrameter with one or two lines dimeter. The shorter lines are most commonly in L3,L6,L9 & L12 but can be found in different arrangements as in the Burns Stanza
• rhymed, the most common schemes are aabaab or aabccb with L2 & L6 being the shorter lines. In a 12 line stanza common schemes are aabccbddbeeb or aabaabaabaab with L3,L6,L9 & L12 being the shorter lines.
Rural Architecture by William Wordsworth 1801
THERE’S George Fisher, Charles Fleming, and Reginald Shore,
Three rosy-cheeked school-boys, the highest not more
Than the height of a counsellor’s bag;
To the top of GREAT HOW did it please them to climb:
And there they built up, without mortar or lime,
A Man on the peak of the crag.
They built him of stones gathered up as they lay:
They built him and christened him all in one day,
An urchin both vigorous and hale;
And so without scruple they called him Ralph Jones.
Now Ralph is renowned for the length of his bones;
The Magog of Legberthwaite dale.
Just half a week after, the wind sallied forth,
And, in anger or merriment, out of the north,
Coming on with a terrible pother,
From the peak of the crag blew the giant away.
And what did these school-boys?–The very next day
They went and they built up another.
–Some little I’ve seen of blind boisterous works
By Christian disturbers more savage than Turks,
Spirits busy to do and undo:
At remembrance whereof my blood sometimes will flag;
Then, light-hearted Boys, to the top of the crag!
And I’ll build up giant with you.
Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=2081
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.