Following our lovely little discussion last evening about Shakespeare’s use of rhyme in Blow, blow, though winter wind, I’ve done a little bit of Googling. The bottom line seems to be that in Shakespeare’s time the word wind was still pronounced with a long ‘i’ vowel (probably spelled wynde) a hangover from Middle English.
According to THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE by Charles Barber, Joan Beal, Philip Shaw:
“The word wind ‘moving air’ probably has its short vowel by analogy with words like windmill, where the third consonant prevented the lengthening from taking place. In Middle English, wind normally had a long vowel, and as late as Shakespeare’s time it rhymed with kind: thus when Shakespeare writes, ‘Blow, blow, though winter wind/Thou art not so unkind’ he is not using an eye rhyme, but a genuine rhyme that no longer exists today.”
There are modern days qualms about this, insisting that there is no reason for us to continue an archaic usage and simply treat this as a sight rhyme.
According to The Exciting World of Creative Writing by Ruth McDaniel
“Shakespeare’s uses of ‘wind’ and ‘unkind’ is an example of a sight rhyme.”
Both I find intriguing but let’s put it to a vote just for the sake of democracy.