THE TWO BROTHERS
Day 4, Tale # 2 of Giambattista Basile’s "Il Pentamerone"
retold in narrative verse by Laura J. Bobrow


“Marcuccio, Parmiero, my sons, listen well.
The time left your father is short.
I love you and leave you with this good advice
to help you to reach a good port.

It may seem like nothing, but what I will say
is a treasure that cannot be lost,
a house that no earthquake will ever knock down,
a field that no pests will accost.

Thank Heaven above from which everything comes.
Never shun honest work when there's need.
If you work for a master then do so with verve.
In the end it's yourself you must feed.

When you’ve something to save it’s your duty to save.
Big money is made cent by cent. 
A house filled with friends and relations is good.
Without them you can’t be content.

With money one builds as with wind one can sail,
or you'll find yourself prey to much pain.
Do nothing, however, of which you’re ashamed.
Spend only as much as you gain.