All my thoughts always speak to me of Love.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1846?; 1861
Rhyme: abbaabacdecde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


“Introduction to Part II” (in Early Italian Poets) 189-193

◦ Foster and Boyd, Dante's Lyric Poetry, I.22-25 (II. 77-79) .

◦ De Robertis, ed., Vita Nuova, 86-88 .

Scholarly Commentary


The translation is as poetically successful as it is semantically free. DGR makes some remarkable turns on the Italian original—for instance in the opening six lines or even more spectacularly in line 11. Special note should be made of the opening four words and their typically Rossettian move in the relation All/always (compare the opening of “A day agone, as I rode sullenly”). In this case the wit gains special force because of the thematic importance of the word “ways” so cunningly half-hidden from the eye.

The last two lines are recalling Beatrice's displeasure with Dante and her denial of her salutation. But the paradoxical idea of Lady Pity as “mine enemy” is striking and suggests further meanings in Dante's text. DGR chooses the safest path here, fairly literal translation.

DGR's source text was “Tutti li miei pensier parlan d'Amore” in the third volume of Fraticelli's edition of Dante's Opere Minori di Dante Alighieri.

Textual History: Composition

This is an early translation, in the 1840s, perhaps as early as 1846.

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: 14d-1861.raw.xml