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Bambino (Corsican Lullaby)
by Eugene Field (1850-1895)

Bambino in his cradle slept;
   And by his side his grandam grim
Bent down and smiled upon the child,
   And sung this lullaby to him,---
               This "ninna and anninia":

"When thou art older, thou shalt mind
   To traverse countries far and wide,
And thou shalt go where roses blow
   And balmy waters singing glide---
               So ninna and anninia!

"And thou shalt wear, trimmed up in points,
   A famous jacket edged in red,
And, more than that, a peakèd hat,
   All decked in gold, upon thy head---
               Ah! ninna and anninia!

"Then shalt thou carry gun and knife,
   Nor shall the soldiers bully thee;
Perchance, beset by wrong or debt,
   A mighty bandit thou shalt be---
               So ninna and anninia!

"No woman yet of our proud race
   Lived to her fourteenth year unwed;
The brazen churl that eyed a girl
   Bought her the ring or paid his head---
               So ninna and anninia!

"But once came spies (I know the thieves!)
   And brought disaster to our race;
God heard us when our fifteen men
   Were hanged within the market-place---
               But ninna and anninia!

"Good men they were, my babe, and true,---
   Right worthy fellows all, and strong;
Live thou and be for them and me
   Avenger of that deadly wrong---
               So ninna and anninia!"

 

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