Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli

(7 September 1791 – 21 December 1863 / Rome)

ER LOGOTENENTE (The Lieutenant)


Come intese a ciarlà der cavalletto,
Presto io curze dar zor Logotenente:
"Mi' marito... Eccellenza... è un poveretto
Pe carità... Ché nun ha ffatto gnente".

Dice: "Mettet'a ssede". Io me ce metto.
Lui cor un zenno manna via la gente:
Po' me s'accosta: "Dimme un po' gruggnetto,
Tu' marito lo vòi reo o innocente?"

"Innocente", dich'io; e lui: "Ciò gusto"
E detto-fatto quer faccia d'abbreo
Me schiaffa la man-dritta drent'ar busto.

Io sbarzo in piede, e strillo: "Eh sor cazzeo..."
E lui: "Fijola, quer ch'è giusto è giusto:
Annate via: vostro marito è reo".


English

As soon as I heard about the judicial punishment [1]
I hurried to the Lieutenant:
"Your Excellency, my husband is a poor fellow...
For goodness sake...he didn't do anything wrong".

He says: "Sit down". I sit.
He waves the other people away:
Then he comes close to me: "Now tell me, pretty face,
Do you want your husband guilty or innocent?"

"Innocent" I say; he says: "I'm glad";
And straight away that loathsome fellow [2]
Tucks his right hand inside my corset.

I jump up, and shout: "Hey you fool..."
He says: "My dear, fair's fair:
Go away: your husband's guilty".

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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