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Once Upon a Time

Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli 1791 (Rome) – 1863



Once upon a time, a king saw fit
to send this proclamation through the land:
'I am I, you vassals aren't worth shit —
that's how it is, so kiss my royal hand!
I'll have you as I want you, straight or bent,
or sell you off in lots, so much a pair,
and if I have you hanged, it's only fair —
you never owned your lives, you only rent.

Shut up and bow — there isn't any hope
I'd listen to some turkey-brain like you
unless he's Emperor, or King, or Pope.'
And then he had his hangman take a poll
to see how folks reacted, on the whole.
And all the people said, It's true, It's true.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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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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