S' I' FOSSE FOCO ... WERE I BUT FIRE ...
Cecco Angiolieritr. Peter Dean
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.
Were I but fire, I'd set the world ablaze;
Were I but wind, with storms then would I lash it;
Water were I, to drowning deep I'd dash it;
God? I would plunge it in the abyss' maze;
If I were Pope, then happy'd be my days
For having duped and made all Christians catch it:
And Emperor? Guess what? With cut and slash it
I'd have all heads chopped off and roll their ways.

And were I death, off to my dad I'd go;
Life? And from him I'd rush away like mad:
With my old mum, I'd do the same - ditto!
Last, Cecco - as I am and as a lad -
Only the young and lovely girls I'd know,
Leaving the rest the ugly, old and sad.

Click here 3 for another translation of this poem.


Trans. Copyright © Peter Dean 2003


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