Alexandrines

(4 syl.).

Iambic verses of 12 or 13 syllables, divided into two parts between the sixth and seventh syllable; so called because they were first employed in a metrical romance of Alexander the Great, commenced by Lambert-li-Cors, and continued by Alexandre de Bernay, also called Alexandre de Paris. The final line of the Spenserian stanza is an Alexandrine.

A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
Which, like a wounded snake | drags its slow length along.
Pope: Essay on Criticism, Part ii., lines 356–7.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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