Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII. 1876–79.

Introductory to Japan


By Luís de Camões (c. 1524–1580)

(From The Lusiad)
Translated by W. J. Mickle

THESE shores forsake, to future ages due:

A world of islands claims thy happier view,

Where lavish Nature all her bounty pours,

And flowers and fruits of every fragrance showers.

Japan behold; beneath the globe’s broad face

Northward she sinks, the nether seas embrace

Her eastern bounds; what glorious fruitage there,

Illustrious Gama, shall thy labors bear!

How bright a silver mine! when heaven’s own lore

From Pagan dross shall purify her ore.