Anon. (Neapolitan, 14c.) tr. Alan Crosier
Fatte molla e no cchiù ddura
mò ca si' formosa e bella
ca ogne fica vulumbrella
a 'sto tiempo s'ammatura.
Fatte doce e no cchiù amara
nun te fa vedere acerba
e non esser tanto brava
fatte umile e no superba.
Mò ca è verde la toja erba
e lu munno renovella
ca ogne fica vulumbrella
a 'sto tiempo s'ammatura.
Mò ca sė 'mmeza ammullata
e tra fionne fai la guerra
nun aspettare ca si' seccata
e che cade in chiana terra.
Fa' ca' ppo' da te se sferra
ca si' tosta fredda e bella
ca ogne fica vulumbrella
a 'sto tiempo s'ammatura.
O, be soft! and yield to reason,
while your beauty's gifts abound;
every fig so sweet and round
grows and ripens in this season.
Gentle be: make no display
of bitterness, nor show disdain;
in haughtiness you'll find no gain,
so meekly make your daily way.
While your grass is green, go tell
the slumbering world to wake anew -
O, figs so moist, and soft like dew!
they sweeten at this time, and swell.
Now that you're embroiled and cast
in life's long battle, desolate -
lest you wither, do not wait!
Among the graves we'll grieve at last.
To hoard yourself I call a treason -
comely, cold, and ever chaste!
The fig so juicy, bliss to taste,
bursts with ripeness - now's her season.

Trans. copyright © Alan Crosier 2005

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