Cino da Pistoia. “Sonnet. A Trance of Love.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


“Introduction to Part II” (in The Early Italian Poets), 206-211

◦ Marti ed., Poeti del dolce stil nuovo, 830-831

Scholarly Commentary


The sonnet is clearly recollecting the opening sonnet of Dante's Vita Nuova, translated by DGR as “To every heart which the sweet pain doth move”. The figure of the fire in the sestet derives ultimately from the Old Testament—both the pillar of fire that led the Jewish people through the desert (e.g., Exodus 13:21) and the burning bush out of which the Lord spoke to Moses (Exodus 3:1-3).

DGR's translation veers slightly but notably from the original in line 11: where DGR's text reads “us” Cino has “me”. The difference might be explicated in any number of interesting ways.

See also the commentary for the source text, which was Sebastiano Ciampi's edition of the Vita e Poesie di Messer Cino da Pistoia (page 162).

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: 186d-1861.raw.xml