Guido Cavalcanti. “Sonnet (to Dante Alighieri). He rebukes Dante for his way of Life, after the Death of Beatrice.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848?; 1861
Rhyme: abbaabbacdedce
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


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

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento, II. 548

◦ Cassata, Guido Cavalcanti. Rime, 191-193

Scholarly Commentary


Except for the final tercet, where DGR alters the conditional grammar to an imperative prayer, the translation is quite close, as the rhyme scheme is exact. DGR's source text, Cicciaporci's Rime di Guido Cavalcanti (Sonnet XXII, page 12), is reliable. Some scholars read the poem as spoken by Love, not by Cavalcanti, a view that is difficult to resist (see especially line 11). DGR's note to the poem does not indicate whether he did or did not subscribe to this interpretation.

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: 128d-1861.raw.xml