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

Portugal: Mondego, the River


By Francisco Rodriguez Lobo (1580–1622)

Translated by John Adamson

WATERS! which pendent from your airy height,

Dash on the heedless rocks and stones below,

Whilst in your white uplifted foam ye show,

Though vexed yourselves, your beauties much more bright.

Why, as ye know that changeless is their doom,

Do ye, if weary, strive against them still?

Year after year, as ye your course fulfil,

Ye find them rugged nor less hard become.

Return ye back unto the leafy grove,

Through which your way ye may at pleasure roam,

Until ye reach at last your longed-for home.

How hid in mystery are the ways of love!

Ye, if ye wished, yet could not wander free,—

Freedom in my lorn state is valueless to me.