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

Introductory to Portugal


By Luís de Camões (c. 1524–1580)

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

PROUD o’er the rest, with splendid wealth arrayed,

As crown to this wide empire, Europe’s head,

Fair Lusitania smiles, the western bound,

Whose verdant breast the rolling waves surround,

Where gentle evening pours her lambent ray,

To them in vain the injured Muse bewails:

The last pale gleaming of departing day:

This, this, O mighty king, the sacred earth,

This the loved parent-soil that gave me birth.

And O, would bounteous Heaven my prayer regard,

And fair success my perilous toils reward,

May that dear land my latest breath receive,

And give my weary bones a peaceful grave.

Sublime the honors of my native land,

And high in Heaven’s regard her heroes stand:

By Heaven’s decree ’t was theirs the first to quell

The Moorish tyrants, and from Spain expel;

Nor could their burning wilds conceal their flight,

Their burning wilds confessed the Lusian might.

From Lusus famed, whose honored name we bear,

(The son of Bacchus or the bold compeer,)

The glorious name of Lusitania rose,

A name tremendous to the Roman foes,

When her bold troops the valiant shepherd led,

And foul with rout the Roman eagles fled;

When haughty Rome achieved the treacherous blow,

That owned her terror of the matchless foe.

But when no more her Viriatus fought,

Age after age her deeper thraldom brought;

Her broken sons by ruthless tyrants spurned,

Her vineyards languished, and her pastures mourned;

Till time, revolving, raised her drooping head,

And o’er the wandering world her conquests spread.