Mádrigal. n.s. [madrigal, Spanish and French, from mandra, Latin; whence it was written anciently mandriale, Italian.] A pastoral song.
A madrigal is a little amorous piece, which contains a certain number of unequal verses, not tied to the scrupulous regularity of a sonnet, or subtilty of an epigram: it consists of one single rank of verses, and in that differs from a canzonet, which consists of several strophes, which return in the same order and number. Bailey.
Waters, by whose falls
Birds sing melodious madrigals. Shakespeare.
His artful strains have oft delay'd
The huddling brook to hear his madrigal. Milton.
Their tongue is light and trifling in comparison of the English; more proper for sonnets, madrigals, and elegies, than heroick poetry. Dryden.