Francesco da Barberino. “Blank Verse. A Virgin declares her Beauties”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1861
Rhyme: blank verse
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: extract

Scholarly Commentary


DGR's note in The Early Italian Poets provides a good introduction to Francesco da Barberino (1264-1348) and the two works from which DGR's translations are excerpted. This translation is taken from Part 5 lines 10-42 of the Del reggimento e de'costumi delle donne, a composite prose and poetry text written sometime after 1304. DGR's source text was the 1815 edition (published in Rome) of Del reggimento e de'costumi delle donne(ed. Guglielmo Manzi).

DGR's selection could scarcely be more apposite to his own lifelong interest in the figura of perfected female beauty. The passage offers an excellent representation of an ideal in which sacred and profane forms are imagined as inseparable. The passage develops a special force because the speaker is a woman and because her declaration is at once so candid, so modest, and so simple. The cool style of the translation—which is a fairly close one—distinctly recalls the style of DGR's early poetry.

Textual History: Composition

This work was probably translated in 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: 88d-1861.raw.xml