Much lyric poetry depends on regular meter based either on number of syllables or on stress. The most common meters are as follows:
- – two syllables, with the short or unstressed syllable followed by the long or stressed syllable.
- Trochaic – two syllables, with the long or stressed syllable followed by the short or unstressed syllable. In English, this metre is found almost entirely in lyric poetry.
- Pyrrhic – Two unstressed syllables
- Anapestic – three syllables, with the first two short or unstressed and the last long or stressed.
- Dactylic – three syllables, with the first one long or stressed and the other two short or unstressed.
- Spondaic – two syllables, with two successive long or stressed syllables.
Some forms have a combination of meters, often using a different meter for the refrain.