Dispute with Forese Donati - II

Dante a Forese Donati
Ben ti faranno il nodo Salamone,
Bicci novello, e’ petti de le starne,
ma peggio fia la lonza del castrone,
ché ‘l cuoio farà vendetta de la carne;
 
tal che starai più presso a San Simone        5
se tu non ti procacci de l’andarne:
e ‘ntendi che ‘l fuggire el mal boccone
sarebbe oramai tardi a ricomprarne.
 
Ma ben m’è detto che tu sai un’arte
che, s’egli è vero, tu ti puoi rifare,               10
però ch’ell’è di molto gran guadagno;
 
e fa sì, a tempo, che tema di carte
non hai, che ti bisogni scioperare;
ma ben ne colse male a’ fi’ di Stagno.
 
Forese a Dante
 
Va’ rivesti San Gal prima che dichi
parole o motti d’altrui povertate,
ché troppo n’è venuta gran pietate
Iin questo verno a tutti suoi amichi.
 
E anco, se tu ci hai per sì mendichi,           5
perché pur mandi a noi per caritate?
Dal castello Altrafonte ha’ ta’ grembiate
ch’io saccio ben che tu te ne nutrichi.
 
Ma ben ti lecerà il lavorare,
se Dio ti salvi la Tana e ‘l Francesco,          10
che col Belluzzo tu non stia in brigata.
 
A lo spedale a Pinti ha’ riparare;
e già mi par vedere stare a desco,
ed in terzo, Alighier co la farsata.
 
Dante to Forese
Partridges’ breasts and Solomon himself
will, Bicci junior, your knot enmesh,
but, worse than that the wether’s loins will do
for the dry leather will avenge the flesh.
 
You at Saint Simon’s have a readied room                 5
unless you do your best not to go there.
And mind you, even if you stopped your gluttony
it’s now too late to pay back what you owe.
 
But I’ve been told you know another trade:
if this is true, you can make up for all,                       10
for it is surely much more lucrative.
 
And take your time, for bills or summons due
vex not your mind so much that you should fret;
but dearly Stagno’s sons did pay for it.
Forese to Dante
Go and pay back San Gal before you throw
more insults onto others’ poverty,
for, during this past winter, loud complaints
by all of its supporters have been made.
 
Besides, if we’re such beggars as you say,                5
why do you still come back to us and beg?
The Altrafonte Castle you so strip,
I have no doubt you feed yourself quite well.
 
But, oh, a bit of work will give you zest,
if God spare Tana’s and Francesco’s lives                 10
so that you shun Belluzzo’s company.
 
At Pinti’s Hospice you will some day lodge,
and, seated at a table with two more,
there Alighieri in his frock I see

Notes:

Dispute with Forese Donati
 
Dante to Forese
Partridges’s breasts and Solomon himself / (Ben ti faranno il nodo Salomone 
 
Dante retorts by employing the knot of Solomon as metaphor for a complicated matter. He accuses Forese of gluttony and theft, which may result in the latter’s imprisonment. Florence’s jail (Burella) was located near San Simone. Stagno’s son was hung for theft, the common punishment of the times.
 
Forese to Dante
Go decorate San Gal before you spend / (Va, rivesti San Gal prima che dichi
 
Forese retorts by implying that Dante himself is poor and owes San Gallo, a hospital, and other benefactors (castello Altafronte, near Ponte Vecchio). He also suggests that Dante will end up a beggar at Pinti’s Hospital, an institution supported by the Donati family. Tana and Francesco were Dante’s half sister and half brother, from his father’s second marriage. The implication is that Dante can only hope to be helped by them, who may be already supporting him. Belluccio was an uncle of Dante on his father’s side. The allusion is that Dante may end up as his uncle, who may have incurred bad luck.

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