A tale of a forsaken, grief-stricken young mother, “The Thorn” is, in many ways, a conventional ballad. Wordsworth, to be sure, returned to the abandoned female figure throughout his career, in such works as “Margaret”, “Ruth”, “The Female Vagrant” and “The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman”. With an abundance of end-stopped rhyming lines, internal rhyme, and a heavy use of refrain and incremental repetition, the form of “The Thorn”, too, looks familiar. But it eschews the common balladic a-b-a-b or a-b-c-b quatrains in favour of jagged looking eleven-line stanzas. As with many works in the genre, the metre runs at a frantic pace, even if the rhyming couplets …
Cook, Daniel. "The Thorn". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 June 2013; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=34182, accessed 26 April 2015.]