S' I' FOSSE FOCO ... IF I WERE FIRE ...
Cecco Angiolieri tr. Simon Evnine
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, I would consume the world;
If I were wind, then I would blow it down;
If I were water, I would make it drown;
If I were God, t'would to the depths be hurled.
If I were Pope, I'd have a lot of fun
With how I'd make all Christians work for me;
If I were emperor, then you'd really see -
I'd have the head cut off of everyone.

If I were death, then I'd go to my father
If I were life, I'd not abide with him
And so, and so, would I do to my mother
If I were Cecco - as in fact I am -
I'd chase the young and pretty girls; to others
Would I leave the lame or wrinkled dam.

Click here 4 for another translation of this poem.


Trans. Copyright © Simon Evnine 2006


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