Guido Cavalcanti. “Canzone. He laments the Presumption and Incontinence of his Youth.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848?
Rhyme: stanza, abbcaddcceeffgg; congedo, ababbcc
Meter: iambic trimeter and pentameter
Genre: canzone

Scholarly Commentary


This is a trecento work not by Cavalcanti, as DGR himself surmised (see his note to “Canzone. A Song of Fortune”. The actual author is unknown. DGR's source text in Cicciaporci (Rime Inedite Canzone V, pages 55-57) is reasonably clean. It derives from a manuscript in the Biblioteca Nazonale Centrale, Firenze.

The translation is a nice piece of work. The poem itself reflects the “myth” of Cavalcanti's quasi-legendary life and its passionate tensions.

Textual History: Composition

Probably an early translation, 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: 115d-1861.raw.xml