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1348 The Pope’s larfter (Le risate der Papa)
Translated by Peter Nicholas Dale


Him larf? The Pope? Bad news, pal! It’s a sign rather
Thad’is flock’ull be weepen, ut there’s trubble in store.
The giggles a that good feller, our stepfather,
Always turn out the same f’rus sons-in-law.

Them ugly mugs ut wear the triple crown, they sure
Are the spitten images a chestnuts, I tell ya mate:
They look good on the outside, but, Christ, jus wait
Till yer open’em. They’re moldy an rotten ta the core.

The Pope’s got that sneeren grin? Trubble’s in the air:
All the more so since his larfen at times like this
Dudn’t strike me as sumthen that’s needed, or fair.

So me dear boys, careful, or yu’ll all cum ta grief.
Happy rulers are bad examples. In the final analysis
Wot’s a bloke do when he larfs? He shows his teeth.

12/2/2001
The sonnet is translated into "Strine", the dialect spoken in Australia down to the 1960s.

 


1348 The Pope’s laughter (orthographically normalized version)
Translated by Peter Nicholas Dale


Him laugh? The Pope? Bad news, pal! It’s a sign rather
That his flock’ll be weeping, that there’s trouble in store.
The giggles of that good feller, our stepfather,
Always turn out the same for us sons-in-law.

Them ugly mugs that wear the triple crown, they sure
Are the spitting images of chestnuts, I tell you mate:
They look good on the outside, but, Christ, just wait
Till you open them. They’re mouldy and rotten to the core.

The Pope’s got that sneering grin? Trouble’s in the air:
All the more so since his laughing at times like this
Doesn’t strike me as something that’s needed, or fair.

So me dear boys, careful, or you’ll all come to grief.
Joyous rulers are bad examples. In the final analysis
What’s a bloke do when he laughs? He shows his teeth.

12/2/2001