Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Portugal: Lisbon (Lisboa)


By Luís de Camões (c. 1524–1580)

(From The Lusiad, Book III)
Translated by William Julius Mickle

AND thou, famed Lisboa, whose embattled wall

Rose by the hand that wrought proud Ilion’s fall;

Thou queen of cities, whom the seas obey,

Thy dreaded ramparts owned the hero’s sway.

Far from the north a warlike navy bore

From Elbe, from Rhine, and Albion’s misty shore,

To rescue Salem’s long-polluted shrine;

Their force to great Alonzo’s force they join:

Before Ulysses’ walls the navy rides,

The joyful Tagus laves their pitchy sides.

Five times the moon her empty horns concealed,

Five times her broad effulgence shone revealed,

When, wrapped in clouds of dust, her mural pride

Falls thundering,—black the smoking breach yawns wide.

As when the imprisoned waters burst the mounds,

And roar, wide sweeping, o’er the cultured grounds;

Nor cot nor fold withstand their furious course;

So headlong rushed along the hero’s force.

The thirst of vengeance the assailant’s fires,

The madness of despair the Moors inspires;

Each lane, each street, resounds the conflict’s roar,

And every threshold reeks with tepid gore.

Thus fell the city, whose unconquered towers

Defied of old the banded Gothic powers,

Whose hardened nerves in rigorous climates trained,

The savage courage of their souls sustained;

Before whose sword the sons of Ebro fled,

And Tagus trembled in his oozy bed.