Alternately titled: Madonna Consolata
Alternately titled: She Wept, Sweet Lady
Alternately titled: La bella donna


General Description

Date: 1849
Rhyme: irregular
Meter: iambic dimeter
Genre: song

Scholarly Commentary


This song was written in Italian in 1849, when DGR gave it the title “Madonna Consolata”. DGR did not make his English translation until October 1869, after he had recovered the poem from his wife's coffin. Both versions were embedded in the text of his dramatic monologue, A Last Confession.

Both Italian and English versions of this work recall DGR's translation project that eventuated in the publication of The Early Italian Poets in 1861. The song is not at all written as a pastiche of a thirteenth- or fourteenth-century work. Its style is much more “modern”. Nonetheless, the reader is clearly meant to see the song as a work whose historical descent traces itself back to the early Italian poets DGR translated in his famous collection of 1861.

From a manuscript list DGR drew up in mid-1869, we know that the poem originally existed as a separate work, and that DGR thought to publish it as such in his 1870 volume.

Printing History

First published (both the Italian and the translation) in DGR's 1870 volume as part of A Last Confession, and collected thereafter.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 51-1849.raw.xml