S' I' FOSSE FOCO ... OF ALL HE WOULD DO
Cecco Angiolieri tr. Dante Gabriel Rossetti
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'd burn the world away;
If I were wind, I'd turn my storms thereon;
If I were water, I'd soon let it drown;
If I were God, I'd sink it from the day;
If I were Pope, I'd never feel quite gay
Until there was no peace beneath the sun;
If I were Emperor, what would I have done? -
I'd lop men's heads all round in my own way.
If I were Death, I'd look my father up;
If I were Life, I'd run away from him;
And treat my mother to like calls and runs.
If I were Cecco, (and that's all my hope,)
I'd pick the nicest girls to suit my whim,
And other folk should get the ugly ones.

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