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LA BOCCA DE-LA-VERITA' (The mouth Of truth)

Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 1791 (Rome) – 1863

In d'una chiesa sopra a 'na piazzetta
Un po' ppiù ssù de Piazza Montanara
Pe la strada che pporta a la Salara,
C'è in nell'entrà una cosa benedetta.

Pe ttutta Roma quant'è larga e stretta
Nun poterai trovà cosa ppiù rara.
È una faccia de pietra che tt'impara
Chi ha detta la bucìa, chi nu l'ha detta.

S'io mo a sta faccia, c'ha la bocca uperta,
Je ce metto una mano, e nu la striggne
La verità da me ttiella pe certa.

Ma ssi fficca la mano uno in bucìa,
Èssi sicuro che a tirà né a spiggne
Quella mano che lì nun viè ppiù via.


In a church, in a small square
Shortly after Montanara Square [2] ,
Along the road leading to the salt-works,
As soon as you enter there's something holy.

In all Rome far and wide
You could not find something as rare as that.
It's a face of stone, which tells
Who is a lier and who is not.

If in the mouth of this statue, which is open,
I insert my hand and it does not clasp it,
Consider my truth as most reliable.

But if a lier inserts his hand
Be sure that, push or pull,
That hand won't come out.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:06 min read

Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli

Giuseppe Francesco Antonio Maria Gioachino Raimondo Belli was an Italian poet, famous for his sonnets in Romanesco, the dialect of Rome. more…

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