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

India: Siam


By Luís de Camões (c. 1524–1580)

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

WHERE to the morn the towers of Tava shine,

Begins great Siam’s empire’s far stretched line.

On Queda’s fields the genial rays inspire

The richest gust of spicery’s fragrant fire.

Malacca’s castled harbor here survey,

The wealthful seat foredoomed of Lusian sway.

Here to their port the Lusian fleet shall steer,

From every shore far round assembling here

The fragrant treasures of the Eastern world:

Here from the shore by rolling earthquakes hurled,

Through waves all foam, Sumatra’s isle was riven,

And mid white whirlpools down the ocean driven

To this fair isle, the golden Chersonese,

Some deem the sapient monarch ploughed the seas,

Ophir its Tyrian name. In whirling roars

How fierce the tide boils down these clasping shores!

High from the strait the lengthening coast afar,

Its moonlight curve points to the northern star,

Opening its bosom to the silver ray

When fair Aurora pours the infant day.