1268 Good soljars (Li sordati bboni)
Translated by Peter Nicholas Dale
As soon as wunna the earth’s sovrans believes
That anuther’s touched an inch uv his propady,
He sez tw’is own peeple: ‘You lod are the enemy
A such an such a king: so, wage war on the thief.”
An the peeple, ta dodge a term in prison as lags,
Or sum uther pleasure a the king’s I won’ menshun here,
Grab muskets ’n travel like a ledder in a mailbag
Ut’s been sent off ta France or Inkland or anywhere.
An so, jus’ becos uva cort’s caprices, these twits
Return like sheep ta their folds an stables
With harf a hed an their pegs shot ta bits.
That’s how foody’s played with lives all rite.
As if that whore we call deth ain’ quite able
Ta blow in on’a’r’ own, withoud us given ut an invite.
The sonnet is translated into "Strine", the dialect
spoken in Australia down to the 1960s.