(7 September 1791 – 21 December 1863 / Rome)

La Penale (The Fine)

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 [1]
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!" [2]

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" [3] .

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