Guido Cavalcanti. “Sonnet. Of the Eyes of a certain Mandetta, of Thoulouse, which resemble those of his Lady Joan of Florence.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1848?; 1861
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


“Introduction to Part II” (in The Early Italian Poets), 193-206

◦ Contini, Poeti de Duecento, II. 531

◦ Cassata, Guido Cavalcanti. Rime, 143-144


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


The poem is an important text illustrating the Neo-Platonic idea of the unity of all forms of love—an idea as central to the early Italian tradition as to DGR's work. Cavalcanti's sonnet was written sometime in the late 1280s when he was on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

DGR varies the rhyme scheme somewhat but stays quite close to the sense of the original Italian. His source text was Cicciaporci (Sonnet XII, page 7).

Textual History: Composition

Probably early, 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: 121d-1861.raw.xml