Meo Abbracciavacca, da Pistoia. “Ballata. His Life is by Contraries.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1849?; 1861
Rhyme: abccabddeffecggchiih
Meter: iambic trimeter and pentameter
Genre: ballata


“Table of Poets” (in Early Italian Poets) xxviii

◦ Contini, Poeti de duecento, I. 337

Scholarly Commentary


Although the poem appears in both of DGR's possible sources, modern editors do not include it among Meo Abbracciavacca's works. It is clear from DGR's rhyme scheme that he chose to ignore the original and treat the poem not as a single rhyming unit but as a structure of four separate parts.

It is uncertain whether DGR's source is the text in Poeti del primo secolo (II. 18) or in the Raccolta di Rime Antiche Toscane (I. 446-447). It was probably the former because the latter text identifies the work (correctly) as a “sonetto doppio”.

For commentary on Meo (i.e., Bartolomeo) Abbracciavacca see the commentary for the original of this translation.

Textual History: Composition

Probably the 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: 1d-1861.raw.xml