I met-a this Tuscan young man,
who’s Yorkshire on t’side of his nan.
He says he’s a poet
but I don’t believe it
as he can’t even finish a silly limerick, for crying out loud.
If ah were fire, ah’d burn t’ world whole;
if ah were wind, ah’d trash it;
if ah were water, ah’d drown it;
if ah were God, ah’d purrit in th’ole;
if ah were t’ Pope, ah’d be a chuffed soul,
as ah’d let all t’ Christians ‘ave it;
if ah were t’ Emperor, ah’d be reet good at it;
ah’d chop their ‘eads off, t’ one n all.
If ah were death, ah’d go to mi ol’ man;
if ah were life, ah wunt stay wi’ ‘im;
t’ same ah’d do wi’ me ol’ mam.
If ah were Cecco, like wor’ ah was an’ am,
ah’d take all t’ lasses bonny n proper,
and ah’d leave t’ gammy legs and th’old for t’others.
The original Italian (Tuscan) text.
S’i fosse fuoco, arderei ‘l mondo;
s’i fosse vento, lo tempestarei;
s’i fosse acqua, i’ l’annegherei;
s’i fosse Dio, mandereil’ en profondo;
s’i fosse papa, allor serei giocondo,
ché tutti cristiani imbrigarei;
s’i fosse ‘mperator, ben lo farei;
a tutti tagliarei lo capo a tondo.
S’i fosse morte, andarei a mi’ padre;
s’i fosse vita, non starei con lui;
similemente faria da mi’ madre.
Si fosse Cecco com’i’ sono e fui,
torrei le donne giovani e leggiadre:
le zoppe e vecchie lasserei altrui.
Cecco Angiolieri (1260-1313?)