Jacopo da Lentino. “Canzonetta. Of his Lady, and of her portrait.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848?; 1861
Rhyme: ABCABCDDC; with commiato, ABAABCDDC
Meter: iambic trimeter
Genre: canzonetta


“Table of Poets” in Early Italian Poets vol. 1, xxvi-xxvii.

◦ Valeriani and Lampredi, Poeti del primo secolo vol. 1, 257-259.

◦ Panvini, Le rime della scuola siciliana vol. 1, 7-11.

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento vol. 1 55-57; vol. 2 802.

Scholarly Commentary


DGR follows the rhyme scheme of his source text, except in the commiato. For Lentino's setenarii he uses iambic trimeter, his usual English substitution. Like the canzone by Fazio degli Uberti that DGR also translated, this is an important Rossettian work, and not only because of its intrinsic poetical qualities. The poem is closely allied to DGR's committment to the idea of the “double work of art”, and it echoes or recalls several of DGR's key works: Hand and Soul, “St. Agnes of Intercession”, and especially “On Mary's Portrait Which I Painted Six Years Ago”.

DGR's source text is Poeti del Primo Secolo (I. 257-259).

See the commentary for DGR's source text.

Textual History: Composition

As with most of DGR's translations of the early Italian poets, the date of this one cannot be definitively set; but its close connection with DGR's early original works strongly suggests that it was made early, probably 1847-1850.

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: 162d-1861.raw.xml