Often called 'The Lame Iambic Trimeter', the metre is completely identical to the iambic trimeter, except that the last iambic foot is replaced with either a trochee or a spondee (hence the 'lameness').

This exchange creates a humoristic surprise at the end of each line, as the ear naturally expects the continuation of the row of iambic feet.

The scheme of the Choliambic metre is therefore:

^ - ^ - / ^ : - ^ - / ^ - - ^
- - ^ - / - - ^ : - / ^ - - -

An example of the use of this metre (in Latin):

 ^ -   ^ - |^  : - ^ - |^ -  - ^
Miser Catulle, :desinas ineptire,

(Catullus 8, 1)

* - long or stressed syllable; ^ short or unstressed syllable; : caesura.

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