Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

Napolini’s Error
by [?]


PIETRO NAPOLINI DI VENDETTA PASQUARELLE

Deserted balmy Italy, the land that loved him well,
And sailed for soft America, of wealth the very fount,
To earn sufficient dollars there to make himself a count.
Alas for poor Pietro! he arrived in winter-time,
And marvelled at the poet who observed in tripping rhyme
How this New World was genial, and a sunny sort of clime.

No chance had he for music that’s developed by a crank,
No chance had he at sculpture, nor a penny in the bank.
The pea-nut trade was languid, and for him too full of risk;
He thought the work on railways for his blood was rather brisk.
The sole profession left him to assuage his stomach’s woe,
It struck him in meandering the city to and fro,
Was surely that of shovelling away the rich man’s snow.

And then P. Napolini di Vendetta Pasquarelle
Sought out a city thoroughfare, the swellest of the swell.
He stole a shovel, and he found a broom he thought would do,
Then rang the massive front-door bell of Stuyvesant Depew.
“I wanta shov’ da snow,” he said, when there at last appeared
Fitzjohn Augustus Higgins, who in Birmingham was reared,
A man by all in low estate much hated and much feared.

“Go wi,” said Fitz, with gesture bold. “Yer cahn’t do nothink ere,
Yer bloomin’, hugly furriner!” he added, with a sneer.
“Hi thinks as ’ow you dagoes is the cuss o’ this ’ere land,
With wuthy citizens like me ’most starved on every ’and.
Hi vows hif I’d me wi at all hi’d order hout a troop,
Hand send the bloomin’ lot o’ yer ’ead over ’eels in soup.
Git hout, yer nahsty grabber yer; hewacuate the stoop.”

Then when the snow had melted off, Fitzjohn Augustus went
And humbly asked his master for two dollars that he’d spent
In paying Napolini di Vendetta Pasquarelle;
While Nap went back to Italy, the land that loved him well,
Convinced that when he sailed that time his country to forsake,
He must have got aboard the ship when he was half awake,
And got to London, not New York, by some most odd mistake.