S' I' FOSSE FOCO, ARDEREI
L MONDO ...
IF I WERE FIRE, ID BURN UP THE
WORLD ...
Cecco Angiolieri tr. Leonard Cottrell
S' i' fosse foco, arderei l mondo;
S' i' fosse vento, lo tempesterei;
S' i' fosse acqua, i' l'annegherei;
S' i' fosse Dio, manderei l' in profondo;
S' i' fosse papa, sare' allor giocondo,
Che tutt' i cristiani imbrighierei:
S' i' fosse mperator, sa' che farei?
A tutti mozzarei lo capo a tondo.

S' i' fosse morte, andarei da mio padre;
S' i' fosse vita, fuggirei da lui:
Similmente faria da mi' madre.
S' i' fosse Cecco, com' i' sono e fui,
Torre le donne giovan' e leggiadre
E vecchi' e laide lasserei altrui.
If I were fire, Id burn up the world;
if I were storm, Id raise a giant swell
and drown it all; if I were God Id hurl
this rats-ass circus all the way to hell.
If I were pope, how happy I would be!
Id cheat the Christians blind and suck their blood.
To serve as emperor I might agree,
so I could chop off everybody's head.

If I were death, Id go to see my dad -
of course with mother I would do the same.
If I were life, Id run from them like mad.
If I were Cecco, as I was and am,
Id take the lovely and the lively dames
and leave for you the ugly and the sad.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

For more of this translator's work see: http://planck.com/rhymedtranslations/versetrans.htm

Trans. Copyright © Leonard Cottrell 2001


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