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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906.

Cecco Angiolieri (c. 1260–c. 1312)

What I Should Like to Do

IF I were fire, I’d burn the world away;

If I were wind, I’d turn my storms thereon;

If I were water, I’d soon let it drown;

If I were God, I’d sink it from the day;

If I were Pope, I’d never feel quite gay

Until there was no peace beneath the sun;

If I were Emperor, what would I have done?

I’d lop men’s heads all round in my own way.

If I were death, I’d look my father up;

If I were life, I’d run away from him,

And treat my mother to like calls and runs.

If I were Cecco—and that’s all my hope—

I’d pick the nicest girls to suit my whim,

And other folk should get the ugly ones.