v. 5. Grinning with ghastly feature.] Hence
Grinn’d horrible a ghastly smile.
P. L. b. ii. 845.
v. 46. As cranes.] This simile is imitated
by Lorenzo de
Medici, in his Ambra, a poem, first published by Mr. Roscoe, in
the Appendix to his Life of Lorenzo.
Marking the tracts of air, the clamorous cranes
Wheel their due flight in varied ranks descried:
And each with outstretch’d neck his rank maintains
In marshal’d order through th’ ethereal void.
Roscoe, v. i. c. v. p. 257. 4to edit.
Compare Homer. Il. iii. 3. Virgil. Aeneid. 1 x. 264, and
Ruccellai, Le Api, 942, and Dante’s Purgatory, Canto xxiv. 63.
v. 96. The land.] Ravenna.
v. 99 Love, that in gentle heart is quickly learnt.]
Amor, Ch’ al cor gentil ratto s’apprende.
A line taken by Marino, Adone, c. cxli. st. 251.
v. 102. Love, that denial takes from none belov’d.]
Amor, ch’ a null’ amato amar perdona.
So Boccacio, in his Filocopo. l.1.
Amore mal non perdono l’amore a nullo amato.
And Pulci, in the Morgante Maggiore, c. iv.
E perche amor mal volontier perdona,
Che non sia al fin sempre amato chi ama.
Indeed many of the Italian poets have repeated this verse.
v. 105. Caina.] The place to which murderers are doomed.
v. 113. Francesca.] Francesca, daughter of Guido da Polenta, lord of Ravenna, was given by her father in marriage to Lanciotto, son of Malatesta, lord of Rimini, a man of extraordinary courage, but deformed in his person. His brother Paolo, who unhappily possessed those graces which the husband of Francesca wanted, engaged her affections; and being taken in adultery, they were both put to death by the enraged Lanciotto. See Notes to Canto xxvii. v. 43 The whole of this passage is alluded to by Petrarch, in his Triumph of Love c. iii.
No greater grief than to remember days
Of joy,xwhen mis’ry is at hand!]
Imitated by Marino:
Che non ha doglia il misero maggiore
Che ricordar la giola entro il dolore.
Adone, c. xiv. st. 100
And by Fortiguerra:
Rimembrare il ben perduto
Fa piu meschino lo presente stato.
Ricciardetto, c. xi. st. 83.
The original perhaps was in Boetius de Consol. Philosoph. “In
omni adversitate fortunae infelicissimum genus est infortunii
fuisse felicem et non esse.” 1. 2. pr. 4
v. 124. Lancelot.] One of the Knights of the Round Table, and the lover of Ginevra, or Guinever, celebrated in romance. The incident alluded to seems to have made a strong impression on the imagination of Dante, who introduces it again, less happily, in the Paradise, Canto xvi.