"The Revolution, like Saturn, devours it's children" – Georg Buchner
Tommaso Aniello by Onofrio Palumbo
|The murder of Don Giuseppe Carafa by Micco Spadaro|
|The Punishment of Thieves at the Time of Masaniello by Micco Spadaro|
|The Sellaria Fountain in Piazzetta Grande Archivio, Napoli, commemorates the suppression of the Neapolitan revolution by Viceroy Iñigo Velez de Guevara|
Photo by Andrew Giordano
by Ferdinando Russo (1866-1927)
The Spaniards now are back in town,
the good times are finally through;
now the young girls walk forlorn
down Marinella avenue.
And the queen of the eight days
is reduced to being a maid
cares and worries are here to stay
a tax on fruits now must be paid.
That fine dress, all inlaid
with fine silver and with gold,
our good queen has had to trade
for the tattered dress of old.
The splendid crown in gold-wrought lace,
what is now? a crown of thorns!
All the sequins of her necklace
are no longer being worn.
The Spaniards now are back in town
yet more scornful and arrogant,
among the soldiers she is known
as the queen of mendicants.
And they give her a light hit,
and they let word go by,
and they pull her skirt a bit...
All alone, she starts to cry.
Darkened bread and bitter tears,
bitter tears and darkened bread
walk in step and go in pairs
like monks marching in their stead.
From the Palace then she came
behind Borgo and now sells love;
she's acquired a bad name
but it's pain she's dying of!
In the slum of the poor woman
now the regiment is moving;
her good luck is finally gone,
and an evil wind is blowing.
She became so wholly mired
in a hungry and wretched life,
she who once was so admired
as Masaniello's wife. (3)
(1) Quotes from Representing the King's Splendour by Gabriel Guarino, Manchester University Press, 2010
(2) Quoted from The Revolt of Naples by Rosario Villari, Polity Press, 1993
(3) Quoted from Dialect Poetry of Southern Italy edited by Luigi Bonaffini, Legas, 1997
Amended June 10, 2021