Cecco Angiolieri (c.1260-1312) Si fosse foco, arderei l mondoSonnet 86
"If I were fire, Id burn up the world"
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.
translation © 1999, 2001 Leonard Cottrell. All rights reserved
main index for rhymed translations
Si fosse foco, arderei l mondo;
Si fosse vento, lo tempesteri;
Si fosse acqua, io lannegherei;
Si fosse Dio, mandareil in profondo.
Si fosse papa, sare allor iocondo,
Che tutt'i cristiani imbrigherei;
Si fosse emperator, sa che farei?
A tutti mozzarei lo capo a tondo.
Si fosse morte, andarei da mio padre;
Si fosse vita, fuggirei da lui;
Similemente faria da mi madre.
Si fosse Cecco comi sono e fui,
Torre le donne piu belle e leggiadre,
E zoppe e laide lascerei altrui.