Lodovico della Vernaccia. “Sonnet. He exhorts the State to vigilance.” (“Think a brief while on the most marvellous arts”)

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1847?
Rhyme: abbaabbacdeedc
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


Scholarly Commentary


DGR made this translation from a text he found in Poeti del Primo Secolo (I. 18), where the date of the original is hypothetically placed at 1200— almost certainly much too early. Neither of the editions of DGR's books of translations have any notes elucidating the text or the author, and subsequent scholarship is equally silent on these topics. Both the original sonnet and the translation are relatively uninteresting. DGR may have translated it because the text discloses the kinds of internecine violence that was so prevalent in the Italian cities of Tuscany.

Textual History: Composition

The translation may have been made at any time between 1846-1860, but it is probably one of the early translations, dating from 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: 243d-1861.raw.xml