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

Portugal: Tagus (Tejo), the River

The Tagus

By Belchior Manoel Curvo Semedo (1766–1838)

Translated by W. C. Bryant

IT is a fearful night; a feeble glare

Streams from the sick moon in the o’erclouded sky;

The ridgy billows, with a mighty cry,

Rush on the foamy beaches wild and bare;

No bark the madness of the waves will dare;

The sailors sleep; the winds are loud and high:

Ah, peerless Laura! for whose love I die,

Who gazes on thy smiles while I despair?

As thus, in bitterness of heart, I cried,

I turned, and saw my Laura, kind and bright,

A messenger of gladness, at my side;

To my poor bark she sprang with footstep light;

And as we furrowed Tejo’s heaving tide,

I never saw so beautiful a night.