Sister Solfatara

By Nicolò Lombardo, La Ciucceide, 1724

 

Know then, that in this mountain,

where we will enter, there is an Ogre.

He never comes down to  this country,

but remains closed there, like a pig.

And what does he eat there? What is he eating?

He eats stones, trash. How dirty!

He eats gold, lead, silver!

 

It’s called Vesuvius and has a sister,

she too an Ogre  and is called Solfatara,

which is not far away, and they went out

both from a belly; and rare,

as they are both from the same love.

If she  is cheerful, clears up

the face of this one; but if this one

rages, she begins to stir.

 

If this one smokes, the other smokes;

if that one is hungry, he has same desire.

Does this one drink? That other takes water.

She is walking, he raises a leg.

That shows an  unfaithful face?

And this one  explodes and makes you call mom.

In short, if she laughs, he too  does;

If this one is crying,   you see her crying.

 

He has one thing only, she does not have;

and you see that he is stout

and that one next to him  is just an anchovy.

He makes certain things dirtier,

because he usually  suffers trots;

and sometimes vomits everything for nothing;

and when he wants to, in front of the mouth

he climbs this mountain, and you are beaten.

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