Guido Delle Colonne. “Canzone. To Love and to his Lady.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1849; 1861
Rhyme: abbacddcefee
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: canzone


“Table of Poets” (in Early Italian Poets) I. xxix

Poeti del Primo Secolo I. 194-197

◦ Panvini, ed., Le rime della scuola siciliana I. 77-79.

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento, I. 104-106 (II. 807)


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

Scholarly Commentary


The best part of DGR's translation of this fine poem is the excellent final stanza. For the rest, DGR's departures (even from the interesting rhyme scheme of the Italian poem) are not especially effective, and in certain cases—see for example WMR's critical notes on the translation—miss some of the best features of the original.

DGR's source text was Poeti del Primo Secolo (I.194-197).

DGR's brief notes on Guido delle Colonne identify him as the author of a Latin history of Troy but modern scholars regard this attribution as dubious. The Sicilian poet was, however, a well known figure, even in England (where he was known to Chaucer, Lydgate, Caxton, and Shakespeare). Dante praises his verse and quotes from this canzone and another in De Volgari Eloquio I.xii.2. He was a judge of Messina and wrote in the mid- to late thirteenth-century. He died sometime after 1287.

Textual History: Composition

An early manuscript survives that shows DGR at work on this particular poem around 1849. The manuscript has transcriptions of part of the Italian text as well as a translation of one line.

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: 134d-1861.raw.xml