From Old French virelai, alteration (after lai) of vireli.
virelai (plural virelais) (historical) A medieval poetic form consisting of two or more three line units in each stanza, in the form aabaab... and continuing on in that pattern. 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.x: Now making layes of loue and louers paine, / Bransles, Ballads, virelayes, and verses vaine .
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