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1784 The Pope’s cellar (La cantina der Papa)
Translated by Peter Nicholas Dale


While I was there checken the kitchen out
An thinken uv how the chap up top eats, this feller
Mr. Prosper Sinecure, chanced ta pass thereabouts
Danglen a ring a keys ta the Pope’s cellar.

We stick close tw’im. Wotcha reckun we saw, ay Kate?
Christ, ya wudn’t see its likes at the Spanish Square.
Wines frum Cyprus, Orviedo, champagne, an there
Was Maliga’n Genzano too an fruit syrups, by the crate. . .

“Hell’sbells,” I sez, “Wodda great library!
Wodda bewt archive uv bulls, edicts an papers!
Wodd’an orat’ry! Wodda t’riffic sacristy!

An without Germans an Rushens helpen with the chore
C’n the Pope clean up all these cruet-jars?”
He sez: “Wot with lunch an mass? Nah, if only there were more!”

27/5/2001
The sonnet is translated into "Strine", the dialect spoken in Australia down to the 1960s.

 


1784 The Pope’s cellar (Orthographically normalized version)
Translated by Peter Nicholas Dale


While I was there checking the kitchen out
And thinking of how the chap up top eats, this feller
Mr. Prosper Sinecure, chanced to pass thereabouts
Dangling a ring of keys to the Pope’s cellar.

We stick close to him. What d’you reckon we saw, ay Kate?
Christ, you wouldn’t see its likes at the Spanish Square.
Wines from Cyprus, Orvieto, champagne, and there
Was Maliga and Genzano too, and fruit syrups, by the crate. . .

“Hell’s bells,” I sez, “What a great library!
What a beaut archive of bulls, edicts and papers!
What an oratory! What a terrific sacristy!

And without Germans and Russians helping with the chore
Could the Pope clean up all these cruet-jars?”
He sez: “What! with lunch and mass? Nah, if only there were more!”

27/5/2001