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(ăl'ĭgzăn`drēn', –drīn'), in prosody, a line of 12 syllables (or 13 if the last syllable is unstressed). Its name probably derives from the fact that some poems of the 12th and 13th cent. about Alexander the Great were written in this meter. In French, rhyming couplets of two alexandrines of equal length, usually containing four accents, have been the classic poetic form since the time of Ronsard, e.g., in the dramas of Racine and Corneille. In English an iambic hexameterhexameter
[Gr.,=measure of six], in prosody, a line to be scanned in six feet (see versification). The most celebrated hexameter measure is dactylic, which was the meter for most Greek and Latin poetry.
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 line is often called an alexandrine. The most notable example is found in the Spenserian stanza, which contains eight iambic pentameterspentameter
[Gr.,=measure of five], in prosody, a line to be scanned in five feet (see versification). The third line of Thomas Nashe's "Spring" is in pentameter: "Cold doth / not sting, / the pret / ty birds / do sing.
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 and an alexandrine rhyming with the last pentameter. Pope's "Essay on Criticism" contains what is probably the most quoted alexandrine in English literature:
A needless alexandrine ends the song
That like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.



(1) In French versification, a 12–syllable line with fixed accents on the sixth and 12th syllables and a caesura after the sixth syllable. The rhyme pattern is a a b b (heroic alexandrine) or a b a b (elegiac alexandrine) with obligatory alternation of masculine and feminine rhymes. Alexandrine verse has been known since the 12th century; the name is derived from a 12th-century poem about Alexander of Macedonia. During the age of classicism it was the canonical meter of the epic, tragedy, and other exalted genres. During the age of romanticism it acquired greater freedom of sound and was applied to any content.

(2) In Russian poetry, iambic hexameter with a caesura after the third foot and with a rhyme pattern of a a b b and alternation of masculine and feminine rhymes. In the 18th century it was used in “high” genres; in the post-Pushkin era it is found primarily in antique stylizations. An example of the Russian alexandrine is K. F. Ryleev’s satire “To the Favorite.”

References in periodicals archive ?
Expert June Edwards, of the Parrot Care and Rehabilitation Centre in Mid Wales, believes the scam involves selling Ringneck parakeets, found in trees in south-east England, as Alexandrine parrots.
The family's story was told in letters between Charles and his mother and Alexandrine and Prime Minister Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, who whisked her to London from Paris as a 17-year-old orphan to be governess to his children.
He was born in Worcester, son of Ernest and Alexandrine (Hamel) Ouellette and lived in Holden for many years.
There are lots of interpolated stories here, there are episodes written in alexandrine verse, and there are enough characters (human ones this time, though there is obviously no lack of typographical characters either) to satisfy even a hardened devotee of the serial genre.
SIR MARK PRESCOTT is the man to follow at Wolverhampton today, where he can land a four-timer with Alexandrine, Clarion, Danehurst and Twilight World, writes Tony Elves.
Composer Jacques - creator of Tales Hoffman, Orpheus In The - was born in William IV ( the Sailor died at Windsor, and niece Alexandrine aged 18, came to throne.
The meter is alexandrine, and the rhyme is crossed.
1837: William IV died and his niece Alexandrine Victoria, aged 18, came to the throne.
Prescott's Alexandrine, one of the quoted cases, was allotted a rating of 52 on the basis of three well-beaten runs as a juvenile.
But if the quotidian, the relatively pastoral, never ceases to catch the celebratory, memorializing gaze of this poet of the ephemeral, much else can fascinate and demand that compact, gentle penetration that his at once classical and quirky and unrhymed alexandrine verse tirelessly provides: meditation upon a Cezanne portrait of his father; evocation of paintings by Vuillard or Poussin, Derain or Uccello; accompaniment to remarks on poetic function read in the paper; fleeting or more persistent thoughts on Proust or Rabelais, Jammes or Homer, Honore d'Urfe or Balzac; the depths of our myths and the challenges of the hypercontemporary; unabashed allusion to Christian tradition and belief; and so on.
Jeanne Alexandrine Louise Pommery, Mathilde Lr taurent-Perrier, Lily Bollinger and Carol Duval of Duval-Leroy followed.
Alexandrine can get the day-off on the right note for the Prescott team by landing the Central Retail Club Handicap.