Egradment li antichi cavaler romanj
davano fed a quisti annutii
"The ancient Romans had great faith in
such omens:" repeat from Canto 10.
And he put us under the chiefs,
and the chiefs went back to their squadrons:
Bernardo Reggio, Nic Benzo, Giovan Nestorno,
And Simone Malespina, Petracco Saint Archangelo,
Rioberto da Canossa,
And for the tenth Agniolo da Roma
And that gay bird Piero della Bella,
And to the eleventh Roberto,
A nice rolling rhythm for a Homeric catalog...
And the papishes were three thousand on horses,
dilly cavalli tre milia,
and a thousand on foot,
And the Lord Sigismundo had but mille tre cento cavalli
And hardly 500 fanti (and one spingard),
And we beat the papishes and fought
them back through the tents
And he came up to the dyke again
And fought through the dyke-gate
And it went on from dawn to sunset
And we broke them and took their baggage
and mille cinquecento cavalli
E li homini di Messire Sigimundo
non furono che mille trecento
A notable victory against a larger army.
And the Venetians sent in their compliments
And various and sundry sent in their compliments;
But we got it next August;
And Roberto got beaten at Fano,
And he went by ship to Tarentum,
I mean Sidg went to Tarentum
And he found 'em, the anti-Aragons,
busted and weeping into their beards,
And they, the papishes, came up to the walls,
And that nick-nosed s.o.b. Feddy Urbino
Said: "Par che e fuor di questo...Sigis...mundo.""
"They say he dodders about the streets
"And can put his hand to neither one thing nor the other,"
An inaccurate rumor that Sigismundo had the plague.
And everywhere, keeping us at it.
And, thank God, they got the sickness outside
As we had the sickness inside,
And they had neither town nor castello
But dey got de mos' bloody rottenes' peace on us -
When the Pope's army finally won, the peace treaty
almost ruined Sigd, and Rimini.
Use of what seems NY -Italian dialect serves
to remind us of the decline from the
Rennaisance to the Mafia?
Quali lochi sono questi:
Sogliano, Torrano and la Serra, Sbrigara, San Martino,
Ciola, Pondo, Spinello, Cigna and Buchio,
Prataline, Monte Cogruzzo,
and the villa at Rufiano
Right up to the door-yard
And anything else the Revmo. Monsignore could remember.
And the water-rights on the Savio.
(And the salt heaps with the reed mats on them
Gone long ago to the Venetians)
And when lame Novvy
died, they got even
Properties lost to Sigd [and Rimini] by the treaty
of Pius II.
And he wrote to young Piero:
Send me a couple of huntin' dogs,
They may take my mind off it.
And one day he was sitting in the chiexa,
On a bit of cornice, a bit of stone grooved for a cornice,
Too narrow to fit his big beam,
hunched up and noting what was done wrong,
And an old woman came in and giggled to see him
sitting there in the dark
She nearly fell over him,
And he thought:
Old Zuliano is finished,
If he's left anything we must see the kids get it,
Write that to Robert.
And Vanni must give that peasant a decent price for his horses,
Say that I will refund.
In old age and defeat, Sigd worries about
a debt to a peasant.....[from a document
unearthed in 1910]
And the writs run in Fano,
For the long room over the arches
Sub annulo piscatoris, palatium sea curiam OLIM de Malatestis.
And the big diamond pawned in
Selling off jewels etc. to cope with loss of income.
OLIM de Malatestis ["once of the Malatestas"] will
recur as symbol of all tragic lost causes.
And he gone out into Morea,
Where they sent him to do in the Mo'ammdes,
With 5,000 against 25,000,
nearly died out in
and came back with no pep in him
Sig got a new job from the Venetians "to do in"
the Turks at Morea but, outnumbered, got
And we sit here. I have sat here
For forty thousand years,
Spookiest two lines in the whole damn poem,
and I will not spoil them with commentary.
Deal with them yourself.
And they trapped him down here in the marsh land,
in '46 that was;
And the poor devils dying of cold, that was Rocca Sorano;
And a bit we haven't heard before:
And he said in his young youth:
che le donne, we will that they, le donne, go ornate,
As be their pleasure, for the city's glory thereby.
They say the
Tempio, but maybe their grudge goes back to this.
Italian women were supposed to dress as ordained
by the priests. Cf Taliban.
And Platina said afterward,
when they jailed him
And the Accademia Romana,
For the singing to Zeus in the catacombs,
Yes, I saw him when he was down here
Ready to murder fatty Barbo, "Formosus,"
And they want to know what we talked about?
"de litteris et de armis, praestantibusque ingeniis,
Both of ancient times and our own; books, arms,
And of men of unusual genius,
Both of ancient times and our own, in short the usual subjects
Of conversation between intelligent men."
These lines find a sharp contrast in Baldy Bacon [Canto XII]
and an "exotic" echo in Kung fu Tse [Canto XIII]
And he with his luck gone out of him
64 lances in his company, and his pay 8,000 a year,
64 and no more, and he not to try to get any more
And all of it down on paper
sexaginta quatuor nec tentatur babere plures
But leave to keep 'em in
i.e. to watch the Venetians.
Damn pity he didn't
(i.e. get the knife into him)
Little fat squab "Formosus"
Barbo said "Call me Formosus"
But the conclave wouldn't have it
and they called him Paolo Secondo.
And he left three horses at one gate
And three horses at the other,
And Fatty received him
with a guard of seven cardinals "whom he could trust."
Paul II, who succeeded Pius II, wanted the
name Formosus, the beautiful, but the curia
called him Paul. Sigd once tried to
And the castelan of Montefiore wrote down,
"You'd better keep him out of the district.
"When he got back here from
"Lit fires, and turned out yelling: 'PANDOLFO '!"
In the gloom, the gold gathers the light against it.
And one day he said: Henry, you can have it,
On condition, you can have it: for four months
You'll stand any reasonable joke that I play on you.
And you can joke back
provided you don't get too ornery.
The aged Sigd keeps his sense of humor, one
aspect of the hilaritas of the Gnostics...
And they'll put it all down in writing:
for a green cloak with silver brocade
Actum in Castro Sigismundo, presente Roberto de Valturibus
..sponte et ex certa scienta...to Enricho de Aquabello.
The contract specifies details of the practical
joking contest, and with that poignant detail
the Rennaisance fades
out of the poem.....for a while.....