A metrical line of six feet or twelve syllables (in English), originally from French heroic verse. Randle Cotgrave in his 1611 French-English dictionary explains: "Alexandrin. A verse of 12, or 13 sillables." In his "Essay on Criticism," Alexander Pope says, "A needless Alexandrine ends the song / That like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along" (359). Examples include Michael Drayton's "Polyolbion," Robert Bridges "Testament of Beauty," and the last line of each stanza in Thomas Hardy's "The Convergence of the Twain."
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