Beatrice (La Beatrice)

In an ashen land, without leaf of green
To the charred terrain I unburdened my spleen
I carelessly wandered at my heart’s request
As I honed my grievances against my breast

When at brightest day my head was plowed
into by a sodden stormcloud
And accosted by the villains inside
Some gang of trolls on a drunken hell ride

They considered me coldly and gave me the once-
over, like I was the village dunce
Furtively laughing and whispering
Trading winks and toothless grins

– “Let’s leisurely contemplate this lampoon
This would-be Hamlet, this slouching buffoon
His irresolute gaze and his discomfited hair
Such a pitiful sight, this old Devil-may-care

This tramp, this out-of-work clown, this wit
He sure knows his role and how thick to lay it
Trying to seduce, with his gripes and his pains
Eagles, crickets, –the sea! and the rain!

And even to us, who schooled him in this hokum
He belches his diatribes–Don’t you just want to choke him!?” –

My pride is as high as the mountains, it’s true
I could have stared down that cloud and it’s crew
With a simple turn of my sovereign face
If I’d not next seen in that mob’s embrace

The peerless queen of my only heart
As the sun looked on without a start
She laughed with with them at my dark distresses
Without a pause in her lustful caresses

–Translated by Chris Schoen

[See original poem here.]


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