s' i' fosse vento, lo tempesterei;
s'i' fosse acqua, i' l'annegherei;
s'i' fosse Dio, mandereil'en profondo;
s'i' fosse papa, sare' allor giocondo,
ché tutti cristïani imbrigherei;
s'i' fosse 'mperator, sa' che farei?
A tutti mozzarei lo capo a tondo.
S'i fosse morte, andarei da mio padre;
s'i' fosse vita, fuggirei da lui:
similemente farìa da mi' madre.
S'i' fosse Cecco, com'i' sono e fui,
torrei le donne giovani e leggiadre:
e vecchie e laide lasserei altrui.
(Cecco Angiolieri - XIII sec.)
If I were fire I would burn the world,
if I were wind I would whip it with storm
I were water I would drown it,
if I were God I would sink in an abyss.
If I were the pope I would be happy
because I would swindle all the Christians,
if I were the emperor, you know what I would do?
I would cut everybody's head 'round.
If I were death I would go to my father,
if I were life I would run from him,
the same I would do with my mother,
if I were Cecco, as I am and have been,
I would take the youngest and fairest women for myself
and I would leave the old and smelly ones to the others.