It’s been said before that poems and song lyrics are strange bed fellows: One reluctant to adapt regular pulse and predictable rhythm, the other limited by rhyme, heartbreak and guitars. But it IS possible to build a relationship. Here’s a way to squeeze poetry into song.
Forget the end of the poetic line. Don’t look for a conventional rhyme or accent at the end of each line as is common in song lyrics; look instead for other rhymes or accents that fall within the lines. Sometimes you get two within one line. Use them and slow the verse down. Or sometimes the rhyme occurs across two lines but fall in the middle of each. That’s good.
Musical phrase can allow for this, in fact it can stitch phrases together that would be otherwise boring or unsteady in the hands of the inexperienced performer.
In both of these, rhythm is king. It will rule them all and melody will only seek to adorn the rhythmic phrase. Unsupported by this, melody will die alone. Unrequited.