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

Chinese Empire: Macao, the Island

The Grotto of Camões

By Eyles Irwin (c. 1751–1817)

HIGH-FAVORED grot! that on the jutting verge

Of Old Cathay, in shades sequestered, placed,

Saw with the poet’s form thy pavement graced,

Studious his lyre to epic heights to urge.

This be thy fame,—not that the wreath which age

Weaves for thy region with mysterious hands;

Nor yet the achievements of the daring bands,

Whose glory blazed, unrivalled, on the stage.

Veiled is her pride! their sun is set in shame!

But oft the pilgrim to his cell shall stray,

Still find the poet living in his lay,

While taste and genius glow at Camões’ name.

Still, with thy votary, strew the sill with flowers,

Their lot far happier own, but ah! less blest their powers!