Guido Cavalcanti. “Ballata. He perceives that his highest Love is gone from him.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848?
Rhyme: ABAB (two piedi) and sirima BxX
Meter: iambic trimeter and pentameter
Genre: ballata


“Introduction to Part II” (in The Early Italian Poets), 193-206

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento, II. 539-540

◦ Cassata, Guido Cavalcanti. Rime, 163-166


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the The Early Italian Poets text.

Scholarly Commentary


The translation adheres exactly to the source text's rhyme scheme. An interesting departure from the literal sense of the original comes in line 16: DGR alters the syntax and adds a locution of his own (“Thrice thanked. . .be” instead of what is literally “thanks to”). Evidently the purpose was to foreground Cavalcanti's ironical use of “mercé”.

DGR's source text was Cicciaporci (Ballata VI, page 20).

Textual History: Composition

Probably an early translation, late 1840s.

Printing History

The translation was first published in 1861 in The Early Italian Poets; it was reprinted in 1874 in Dante and his Circle.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 107d-1861.raw.xml