Dante Alighieri. “Canzone. A Complaint of his Lady's scorn.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1849?; 1874
Rhyme: AbCAbCcDEDeFF; congedo, aBABaCC
Meter: iambic trimeter and pentameter
Genre: canzone

Scholarly Commentary


DGR's source text, in Fraticelli's Opere minori di Dante Alighieri (I. 67-70), wrongly attributes this canzone to Dante. Its actual author remains unknown. In his 1874 edition of his translations, DGR included this translation as a substitute for another canzone that he had translated from the same source and included in The Early Italian Poets volume. DGR discovered the latter to be spurious, but his substitution did not improve the situation. In a note to the canzone DGR associates it with “the time during which Beatrice denied her salutation to Dante” in the Vita Nuova.

DGR's attention was called to this poem by Theodore Martin, whose own translation of Dante's autobiography was published almost simultaneously with DGR's larger collection. Martin printed this poem in an appendix.

Textual History: Composition

Alhough DGR made this translation fairly early—at the same time as he was making his other Dante translations—he “omitted [it] formerly [i.e., in the 1861 volume] as bearing on no special event” in Dante's life. In March 1873, however, he asked his mother to help WMR find his MS of the translation in a “very old portfolio of MSS. of mine” in order to put the translation in the 1874 edition (see letter to his mother, 7 March 1873, in WMR, Family Letters II. 284).

Printing History

First printed in Dante and his Circle (115-117) and collected thereafter,

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 1d-1874.raw.xml