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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)

The Departure of King Sebastian

By Spanish Ballad

Translated by J. G. Lockhart

IT was a Lusitanian Lady, and she was lofty in degree,

Was fairer none, nor nobler, in all the realm than she;

I saw her that her eyes were red, as, from her balcony,

They wandered o’er the crowded shore and the resplendent sea,

Gorgeous and gay, in Lisbon’s Bay, with streamers flaunting wide,

Upon the gleaming waters Sebastian’s galleys ride,

His valorous armada (was never nobler sight)

Hath young Sebastian marshalled against the Moorish might.

The breeze comes forth from the clear north, a gallant breeze there blows;

Their sails they lift, then out they drift, and first Sebastian goes.

“May none withstand Sebastian’s hand,—God shield my King!” she said;

Yet pale was that fair Lady’s cheek, her weeping eyes were red.

She looks on all the parting host, in all its pomp arrayed,

Each pennon on the wind is tost, each cognizance displayed;

Each lordly galley flings abroad, above its armed prow,

The banner of the Cross of God, upon the breeze to flow.

But one there is, whose banner, above the Cross divine,

A scarf upholds, with azure folds, of love and faith the sign:

Upon that galley’s stern ye see a peerless warrior stand,

Though first he goes, still back he throws his eye upon the land.

Albeit through tears she looks, yet well may she that form descry,

Was never seen a vassal mien so noble and so high;

Albeit the Lady’s cheek was pale, albeit her eyes were red,

“May none withstand my true-love’s hand! God bless my Knight!” she said.

There are a thousand Barons, all harnessed cap-a-pee,

With helm and spear that glitter clear above the dark-green sea;—

No lack of gold or silver, to stamp each proud device

On shield or surcoat,—nor of chains and jewelry of price.

The seamen’s cheers the Lady hears, and mingling voices come,

From every deck, of glad rebeck, of trumpet, and of drum;

“Who dare withstand Sebastian’s hand? what Moor his gage may fling

At young Sebastian’s feet?” she said. “The Lord hath blessed my King.”