Cecco d'Angiolieri, da Siena. “Sonnet. He rails against Dante, who had censured his homage to Becchina.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

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


“Introduction to Part II” (in Early Italian Poets) 212-217

◦ Lanza, ed., Rime. Cecco Angiolieri, 214-216

◦ Massera, ed., Sonetti Burleschi e Realistici, 130 (II. 133-134)


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the Early Italian Poets text.

Scholarly Commentary


DGR mistranslates this sonnet, misunderstanding the syntax of the opening pair of lines. He was deceived by his source text in Raccolta di Rime Antiche Toscane (II. 154), which prints instead of the received dir. As a result, the proper reading of the opening is missed: “Dante Alighieri, I want to stop writing poems about Becchina and speak (instead) of the Marshall, etc”. The sonnet is thus not an attack on Dante but on a figure both Dante and Cecco hold in contempt.

This is one of the three sonnets written by Cecco to Dante and translated by DGR (see the commentary for “Dante Alighieri, Cecco, your good friend”). Although it comes second in DGR's listing, Cecco scholars understand it to be the earliest of the three, probably dating from 1290 or so.

Textual History: Composition

Probably one of DGR's last translations: the Huntington Library's holograph copy of the source text is on paper watermarked 1860. There is another copy in the library of the National Gallery ofd South Africa.

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: 59d-1861.raw.xml