Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli
From Hand To Hand - Poem by Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli
The Pope, God's locum, Our Lord, is someone I'd
Liken to an eternal Father, like Our Eternal Father.
That is, he doesn't die, or, sure he dies, but rather,
To be precise, he only really dies on the outside.
Because when his body leaves off being a governor,
His soul, still stuck in its ancient honour,
Doesn't go to paradise or hell - it ain't a goner -
But passes straight into the body of his successor.
In this way, he can undergo slight changes in his brain,
His stomach, ears, nose, skin, mouth or eyes;
But the Pope, inasmuch as he's a Pope, stays the same.
An that's the reason why every body fated to receive
That kind of dignity, falls down from the sky
Soulless, with nothing else but the power to breathe.
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