My lady carries love within her eyes

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1861
Rhyme: abbaabbacdeedc
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


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

◦ Foster and Boyd, Dante's Lyric Poetry, I.66-67 (II. 109-110) .

◦ De Robertis, ed., Vita Nuova, 138-142 .

Scholarly Commentary


Neither Dante's sonnet nor DGR's translation are especially remarkable, a fact made all the more apparent by the allusion in lines 2-4 to Cavalcanti's great sonnet “Who is she coming, whom all gaze upon”, translated so well by DGR. This sonnet's importance lies in its position in the Vita Nuova as a whole. The “gracious miracle” of Beatrice will shortly become even more dramatically apparent after her death, when her vitalizing influence persists. Indeed, the action of the autobiography, written as it was after Beatrice's death, carries this idea as a regular and crucial subtext of its argument.

DGR's source text was “Negli occhi porta la mia donna Amore” in the third volume of Fraticelli's Opere Minori di Dante Alighieri .

Textual History: Composition

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

Printing History

bThe 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: 31d-1861.raw.xml