Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli
ER CAFFETTIERE FISOLOFO (The Philosophizing Barman)
L'ommini de sto monno sò l'istesso
Che vaghi de caffè ner macinino:
C'uno prima, uno doppo, e un'antro appresso,
Tutti quanti però vanno a un distino.
Spesso muteno sito, e caccia spesso
Er vago grosso er vago piccinino,
E ss'incarzeno tutti in zu l'ingresso
Der ferro che li sfraggne in porverino.
E l'ommini accusì viveno ar monno
Misticati pe mano de la sorte
Che sse li gira tutti in tonno in tonno;
E movennose oggnuno, o ppiano, o fforte,
Senza capillo mai caleno a fonno
Pe cascà ne la gola de la morte.
In this world, men are like
Coffee beans in a grinder:
One in front, one who follows, another one behind,
But all of them move towards the same destiny.
They often change place, and often
The big coffee-bean takes the place of the small one,
And they all cram by the hole
Where the blade crushes them into powder.
And this is how men live in this world,
Mingled by the hand of fate,
Which turns them round and round.
And each of them moving, fast or slow,
Unawares, they sink down
To drop in the jaws of death.
Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli's Other Poems
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