Home  »  library  »  poem  »  Lullaby

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.


By Giuseppe Giusti (1809–1850)

  • From ‘Gingillino’
  • [The poem of ‘Gingillino,’ one of Giusti’s finest satires, is full of personal hits, greatly enjoyed by the author’s countrymen. The ‘Lullaby’ is sung by a number of personified Vices round the cradle of the infant Gingillino, who, having come into the world naked and possessed of nothing, is admonished how to behave if he would go out of it well dressed and rich. A few verses only are given out of the many. The whole poem was one of the most popular of all Giusti’s satires.]

  • CRY not, dear baby,

    Of nothing possessed;

    But if thou wouldst, dear,

    Expire well dressed….

    Let nothing vex thee,—

    Love’s silly story,

    Ghosts of grand festivals

    Spectres of glory;

    Let naught annoy thee:

    The burdens of fame,

    The manifold perils

    That wait on a name.

    Content thyself, baby,

    With learning to read:

    Don’t be vainglorious;

    That’s all thou canst need.

    All promptings of genius

    Confine in thy breast,

    If thou wouldst, baby,

    Expire well dressed….

    Let not God nor Devil

    Concern thy poor wits,

    And tell no more truth

    Than politeness permits.

    With thy soul and thy body,

    Still worship the Real;

    Nor ever attempt

    To pursue the Ideal.

    As for thy scruples,

    Let them be suppressed,

    If thou wouldst, baby,

    Expire well dressed.