Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli

LA PENALE (The Fine)

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






Li preti, già sse sa, fanno la caccia
A 'gni sorte de spece de quadrini.
Mo er mi' curato ha messo du' carlini
De murta a chi vò dì 'na parolaccia.

Toccò a me l'antra sera a la Pilaccia:
Ché giucanno co certi vitturini,
Come me vedde vince un lammertini,
Disse pe ffoja: "Eh buggiarà Ssantaccia!"

Er giorn'appresso er prete già informato,
Mannò a ffamme chiamà dar chiricone,
E m'intimò la pena der peccato.

Sur primo io vorze dì le mi' raggione;
Ma ppoi me la sbrigai: "Padre Curato,
Buggiaravve a voi puro: ecco un testone".

English

A well-known fact is that priests go hunting
For money of all sorts and kinds.
Now my vicar has decreed a sixpence fine
For anyone saying a foul word.

It was my turn, the other night at the Pilaccia inn:
As I was gambling with some coach drivers,
When I lost a silver coin
I said in anger: "Damn Santaccia!"

On the following day the priest, already informed,
Sent out the sexton for me,
And inflicted me the penalty for that sin.

At first I tried to put forward my reasons,
But then I cut it short: "Father Vicar,
Damn yourself too, here's a shilling".

© Poetry.com