Alexandrine, Or Alexandrian, in poetry, a metre consisting of 12 syllables, or 12 and 13 alternately; so called, according to some, from a poem on the life of Alexander written in this kind of verse by a French poet of the latter half of the 12th century. The French have ever since cultivated this species of verse more than any other European nation. Their tragedies are mostly composed of Alexandrines. In his "Essay on Criticism," Pope gives the English opinion of them:
A needless Alexandrine ends the song, That like a wounded snake drags its slow length along.