Once a dispirited painter Cured himself with a pint, Found an easel and palette And was quite ready to paint. Seeking a model, he spotted Something, that drove him mad - Long legs that proudly trotted, Topped with a beautiful head. He rushed up straight to that Venus: “Listen, to visit his gal Dante, like one of the sinners, Easily sneaks into Hell! There’s in Hell too much ardor, I won’t take you that way, Darling, my name’s Leonardo, Will you undress right away? Don’t be afraid, I won’t touch you, Only for art do I toil! Maybe, I’ll sculpture your statue, Or I can paint you in oil!” “None of your tricks! Drop your dodging!” She answered him with contempt. “I am a Catholic virgin And I reject your attempt! Men are obscene, mean and filthy, Lustful and horny as well. You, Leonardo da Vinci, Don’t try to be Rafael! If there’s no love, I’ll say “no” Even if you gonna burst. Yes, art is sacred, I know But you must marry me first! Then I’ll undress for you, artist, Marriage will make you be true! You are, no doubt, the smartest, But what to do I know too!” “Hurry! I’ll lose inspiration, - Cried out the painter. - I may Miss the divine revelation!” And they got married that day... When I was visiting Pisa, Whom did I suddenly meet? It was, of course, Mona Lisa, Who radiated conceit. Bragging to some old spinster Gleaming with triumph, she said: “You must sometimes be a trickster If you are willing to wed!” More than a year the painter Toiled on her pose and glance... She chuckled gently and faintly, Thinking “I’ve caught you, a dunce!” Smiling at us, is she hiding Any idea or plan? No, she’s simply deriding Silly and gullible men!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton