Cecco d'Angiolieri, da Siena. “Sonnet. Of Love in Men and Devils.”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1859
Rhyme: abbaabbacdecde
Meter: iambic pentameter
Genre: sonnet


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

◦ Lanza, ed., Rime. Cecco Angiolieri, 52-53

◦ Massera, ed., Sonetti Burleschi e Realistici, I. 84

Scholarly Commentary


Owing to the extreme corruption of DGR's source text in Raccolta di Rime Antiche Toscane (II. 161), DGR's translation varies wildly from the sonnet that Cecco originally wrote. (For a reliable text see Lanza, pages 52-53). The last line's variance from the authoritative text produces a remarkable piece of English poetry, however. DGR's text reads “rubalda” for the received reading “rubaldo” (meaning “impoverished, in rags”). DGR thus decides that the feminine word signals a dialectal form suggesting wantonness—probably because Cecco's treatment of love is regularly coarse and earthy.

For further general information about Cecco and his work see the commentary for “Dante Alighieri, Cecco, your good friend”).

Textual History: Composition

As we may judge from the existence of DGR's manuscript copy of the sonnet by Cecco, this is a late translation, perhaps 1859 or 1860.

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: 69d-1861.raw.xml