Giuseppe Gioachino Belli

LI FRATI D'UN PAESE (The Friers of The Village)

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Senti sto fatto. Un giorno de st'istate
Lavoravo ar convento de Genzano,
E ssentivo de sopra ch'er guardiano
Tirava giù biastime a carrettate;

Perché, essenno le gente aridunate
Per cantà la novena a ssan Cazziano,
Cerca qua, chiama là, quer zagristano
Drento a le celle nun trovava un frate.

Era vicino a notte, e un pispillorio
Già se sentiva in de la chiesa piena,
Quanno senti che ffa ppadre Grigorio.

Curze a intoccà la tevola de cena,
E appena che fu empito er refettorio
Disse: "Alò, frati porchi, a la novena!".


English

Listen to this story. During last summer one day
I was working at the monastery in Genzano [1] ,
When I heard upstairs the sacristan
Swearing like a trooper.

Because while the people had gathered
To sing the novena [2] for St.Cassian,
The sacristan, looking for the friars high and low,
Could not find any of them in their rooms.

Night was approaching, and a whispering
Already came from the crowded church,
So listen what Father Gregory did.

He ran to sound the dinner bell
And as soon as the refectory was full
Said: "Hurry up, lousy friars, to the novena!"

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Giuseppe Gioachino Belli